Towards a Heuristic Method: Sartre and Lefebvre

in Sartre Studies International
Author: Michael Kelly1
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  • 1 University of Southampton
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Henri Lefebvre rarely looms large in discussions of Sartre, and vice versa. With the notable exception of Mark Poster, critics have generally ignored the role of France’s leading Marxist philosopher in mediating Sartre’s encounter with Marxism. As a result, Sartre’s well-known footnote in the Critique de la raison dialectique, quoted above, may appear as a characteristically quixotic gesture on his part. The purpose of this article is to argue that this relatively isolated acknowledgement is the tip of an iceberg, beneath which there lies a deep and complex philosophical and political relationship. The text was published in 1957 at a moment when Sartre and Lefebvre came to share an unusual degree of common ground. This itself requires detailed examination, but it first needs to be situated in a wider context embracing most of the lifetime of the two thinkers up until that point.

Sartre Studies International

An Interdisciplinary Journal of Existentialism and Contemporary Culture

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