Self-Consciousness and Self-Knowledge

A Presentation by Jean-Paul Sartre (with an Introduction and Discussion)

in Sartre Studies International
Marco D. Dozzi Researcher, University of Cagliari, Italy

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This translation is of an article in the April–June 1948 issue of the Bulletin de la société française de philosophie (42, no. 3: 49–91). That article consists primarily of a lecture that Sartre had presented to La Société Française de Philosophie on 2 June 1947 in which he provided an overview of some of his main points in Being and Nothingness, with particular emphasis on its Introduction (especially its third section, ‘The Pre-Reflective Cogito and the Being of the Percipere’) as well as on the first chapter of its second part, that is, “The Immediate Structures of the For-Itself” (covering content in three of its five sub-sections: I, III and IV). The title of the lecture thus does not wholly encompass the subjects that are discussed in it, although it may well be said to reflect its central theme (even in a literal sense, as the positioning of the hypothetically demarcated ‘Section III’ in the Table of Contents above shows). In addition to the presentation, the article in the Bulletin is preceded by a brief introductory statement – seemingly written by Sartre himself1 – which functions largely as a sort of ‘extended abstract’ for the talk (although not all the points in the introduction are covered in the presentation), and is followed by a transcript of the discussion that took place after the presentation between Sartre and some of the reputable scholars who were in attendance (i.e. a ‘question and answer’ session).

Contributor Notes

Marco D. Dozzi recently completed his PhD in philosophy at the University of Cagliari (Sardinia, Italy) with a dissertation entitled ‘(Self-)Consciousness, Reflection and the Ego in Sartre's Early Philosophy’. He is currently a sessional lecturer at McGill University, where he is also completing a second PhD (in religious studies) with a dissertation on the early philosophies of Fichte and Schelling. Until recently, he has published primarily on German idealism, although a forthcoming article of his on Sartre will soon be published in The European Journal of Philosophy. He is also at work on a book translation of Fichte's Lectures on Logic and Metaphysics, which should be published by Bloomsbury in 2025. Email:

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