Alienation between the Critique of Dialectical Reason and the Critique of Economic Reason

Sketch of a Materialist Ethics

in Sartre Studies International
Chiara CollamatiUniversité of Padova

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Through an analysis of the category of alienation in the Critique of Dialectical Reason, this article aims to shed light on the way in which Sartre attempts to think through alienation both with Marx and going beyond Marx. Sartre does not reduce alienation either to an ontological dimension of praxis or to the exclusively socio-economic determination of the capitalist mode of production. In order to grasp better the theoretical stakes of Sartre’s position, André Gorz’s analyses of the link between labour and alienation is discussed. The path via Gorz (who always insisted on his philosophical indebtedness to Sartre) is useful in order to ascertain whether it is justified to adopt the Sartrean dialectic of praxis and alienation as the basis of a critique of labour in the present configuration of the capitalist system. These questions will be taken as a starting point for an ethical and political examination of the category of need, as it is problematized by Sartre in the Critique and above all in the manuscript of “Les Racines de l’éthique” (1964).

Contributor Notes

Chiara Collamati obtained her doctorate in Political Philosophy and History of Political Thought from the University of Padova and the University of Toulouse II Jean Jaurès, having completed a thesis entitled “Dialectical Reason as Critical Experience: Praxis, History and Ethics in Jean-Paul Sartre’s Philosophy (1956-1965)”. She is a member of the “Gruppo di ricerca sui processi di soggettivazione politica nella società contemporanea” at the Université of Padova and she is a collaborator of the Groupe d’études sartriennes at the University of Liège. Her research interests include contemporary French thought, Marx’s philosophy and a re-reading of Marxism from a hermeneutic standpoint influenced by Critical Theory and Conceptual History (Begriffsgeschichte).

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Sartre Studies International

An Interdisciplinary Journal of Existentialism and Contemporary Culture