Sartre’s Concept of Freedom(s); There is No Good Answer: The Role of Responsibility in Sartre’s Ethical Theory; Critique of Freedom as a Value: Defending the Early Sartre against Moral Relativism; Trying to Get it Right: A Reply to Four Critics

in Volume 21 (2015): Issue 2 (Dec 2015): Diverse Lineages of Existentialism

Three articles analyze David Detmer’s first book on Sartre, Freedom as a Value. Peter Jones argues that Sartre uses freedom in only one sense, as freedom to choose, whereas Detmer argues that Sartre distinguishes between freedom of choice (“ontological freedom”) and freedom of obtaining (“practical freedom”). Michael Butler’s paper contends that under a Sartrean framework, any moral judgment we make regarding our own action is never final; the meaning and moral value of our past actions always remains reinterpretable in light of what unfolds in the future. Our interactions with other people reveal that we are responsible for far more than we had initially supposed ourselves to be choosing when we began our project, such that it is in fact impossible to ever finish taking responsibility completely. Taylor Smith and Matthew Eshleman tackle Sartre’s supposed “subjectivism” from the opposite angle. They agree with Detmer that Sartre’s belief that values are mind-dependent does not necessarily entail ethical subjectivism, but argue that even the early Sartre was more fully committed to a cognitivist view of normative justification than Detmer allows. Detmer’s replies to all three essays round out this section and this issue.

Sartre Studies International

An Interdisciplinary Journal of Existentialism and Contemporary Culture

in Volume 21 (2015): Issue 2 (Dec 2015): Diverse Lineages of Existentialism