Bad Faith and the Actor: Onto-Mimetology from a Sartrean Point of View

in Sartre Studies International
Author: Tony Fisher
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The article develops Sartre's remarks on the paradox of the actor in two ways. Firstly, it derives from them an 'existential ontology' of mimetic performance - an 'onto-mimetology'. Secondly, it uses this reconstruction in order to put pressure on Sartre's analogy of the actor with bad faith. In grasping the problem of acting from a Sartrean perspective, I show that this analogy is not as clear cut as he assumes and that a crucial difference exists between the situation of the theatre and that of bad faith. To master the paradox of his own being I argue the actor's technique indeed utilizes the same 'non-persuasiveness-of-belief ' thesis identified by Sartre as the condition of possibility for bad faith, yet in the actor's case it need not necessitate the condition of bad faith. In conclusion, I propose that through the notion of play, the actor sheds intriguing light on Sartre's notion of freedom.

Sartre Studies International

An Interdisciplinary Journal of Existentialism and Contemporary Culture

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