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).