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The Misplaced Chapter on Bad Faith, or Reading 'Being and Nothingness' in Reverse

Matthew C. Eshleman

Keywords: SARTRE; BAD FAITH; FREEDOM; ANXIETY; SANTONI

This essay argues that an adequate account of bad faith cannot be given without taking the second half of Being and Nothingness into consideration. There are two separate but related reasons for this. First, the objectifying gaze of Others provides a necessary condition for the possibility of bad faith. Sartre, however, does not formally introduce analysis of Others until Parts III and IV. Second, upon the introduction of Others, Sartre revises his view of absolute freedom. Sartre's considered view of freedom helps to make sense out of bad faith in a way that does not seem possible were freedom absolute.

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