Sartre and Heidegger on Social Deformation and the Anthropocene

in Sartre Studies International
Paul Gyllenhammer St. John’s University

Search for other papers by Paul Gyllenhammer in
Current site
Google Scholar
Restricted access


The age of the Anthropocene is arguably upon us. Heidegger’s famous discussion of technology helps us understand the attitude that put us in this crisis. Although Sartre’s work in the Critique of Dialectical Reason seems to be distinct from Heidegger’s, I show how his concern with the socially alienating phenomenon of seriality explains why this technological attitude is so persistent. And by studying Heidegger and Sartre together, we get a better sense of how our environmental destitution is correlated to a social-political one. Relational respect is offered as an existential norm that helps us move beyond our violent tendency to objectify beings, both human and other than human.

Contributor Notes

Paul Gyllenhammer is an Associate Professor at St. John’s University. His research interests are in existential-phenomenology, hermeneutics and virtue ethics. Email:

  • Collapse
  • Expand

Sartre Studies International

An Interdisciplinary Journal of Existentialism and Contemporary Culture


All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 1009 734 69
Full Text Views 73 9 2
PDF Downloads 54 10 2