Sunday, March 29, 2020

Sartre’s Being and Nothingness

Jean-Paul Sartre is not among the philosophers that I like; I despise his nihilistic political opinions. But I am now reading his Being and Nothingness (Hazel E. Barnes’s translation). In her Introduction, Barnes writes, “What critics usually fail to see is that Sartre is one of the very few twentieth-century philosophers to present us with a total system. One may at will accept or reject this system, but one is not justified in considering any of its parts in isolation from the whole.” That Sartre has founded a “total system” is a pompous claim—after the 1980s, his works became irrelevant. However, I intend to read this 850-page book to the end.

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