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Charles William Johns and Marcos A. Norris

Cox, Gary, How to Be an Existentialist: Or How to Get Real, Get a Grip and Stop Making Excuses, (London: Bloomsbury, 2020) 144 pp. ISBN 9781350068988 £9.99 (paperback).

Wicks, Robert L. Introduction to Existentialism: From Kierkegaard to The Seventh Seal. (London: Bloomsbury, 2020) 240 pp. ISBN 9781474272520 £21.59 (paperback).

French and Italian Stoicisms: From Sartre to Agamben. Edited by Kurt Lampe and Janae Sholtz. (London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2021), 237 pp. ISBN 978-1-3500-8203-8 (hardcover).

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Certainty as Insanity

Lacanian Misrecognition and Sartrean Bad Faith

Constance De Meulder

I examine the Lacanian concept of misrecognition (méconnaissance) by comparing it with the Sartrean notion of bad faith (mauvaise foi). I focus on Jacques Lacan’s 1946 article ‘Presentation on Psychical Causality’ in which Lacan criticises organicist psychology for misrecognising the cause of madness to be essentially organic and consequently failing to distinguish between ‘mad’ and ‘true’ ideas. I argue that bad faith, discussed by Jean-Paul Sartre in Being and Nothingness in 1943—and referred to six times in the Écrits by Lacan—has essential similarities with misrecognition in the Lacanian sense. By juxtaposing these concepts, I argue that this early Lacanian text is marked by an existentialist attitude which views human reality—and madness—as meaningful and grounded in being.

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Alfred Betschart

François Noudelmann, Un tout autre Sartre (Paris: Gallimard, 2020), 206 pp. ISBN 978-2-07-288710-9. €18/e-book €13.

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John Gillespie and Katherine Morris

Imagination and the imaginary, both in life and in Sartre’s treatment of these phenomena, seem so wide-ranging that it is hard to find your feet—what is in common between imagining the absent Pierre’s face and imagining something never before seen? What role does imagination play in seeing someone in a portrait of them? What about in seeing Chevalier in Franconnay’s imitation (or ‘performative simulation’) of him? Elad Magomedov’s question is even trickier: how do we navigate the similarities and differences between Franconnay’s Chevalier, Sartre’s waiter’s ‘playing at being a waiter’, and Jean-Claude Romand, ‘the “real” impostor who for fifteen years pretended to be a medical professional and ended up killing his entire family’?

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The Feel of the Past

Sartre on Memory and Imagination

Kathleen Lennon

This article addresses the distinction which Sartre draws between memory and imagination. The article is in two parts. In the first part it is suggested that, in common with the distinction he draws between imagining and perceiving, the separation of memory and imagination is undermined by Sartre’s own phenomenology. Memories are part of the family of imaginings to which Sartre directs us. Nonetheless, in the second part of the article, Sartre’s distinction is revisited. The working of imagination in memory does not mean that we are making up our past. Utilising Barthes’ discussion, in Camera Lucida it is argued that memory provides a distinctive relation to our past, which makes evident to us what it is to live a life in time.

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From Jean-Paul Sartre to Critical Existentialism

Notes for an Existentialist Ethical Theory

Maria Russo

This article examines Sartre’s works in which his attempt to find an existentialist ethics is evident. Most of the clues to this project are to be found in texts published posthumously since during his lifetime he never managed to fulfil the promise he made at the end of Being and Nothingness. It will be argued that this existentialist ethics owes a strong debt to Kantian philosophy, even if it confronts more directly the historical dynamics of violence and oppression. Despite the fact that this project is unfinished and only sketched out, it is possible to ask what Sartre’s direction of development would have been, pointing to the outline of a normative theory, Critical Existentialism, that could have its place in contemporary ethical debate.

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Performative and Eidetic Simulations

Three Imaginary Regimes

Elad Magomedov

Different kinds of fakery and imposture can be differentiated by means of the imaginary regimes within which a performative simulation unfolds. Engaging with Sartre’s analysis of the imaginary, we will identify three such regimes, calling them the objective, the reflective, and the phantasmatic. Each of these regimes involves its own kind of image and accordingly a specific type of simulation. It is proper to the objective image to attain dissimulation of the self by replacing the real with fiction. In the reflective regime, the real is not substituted by the imaginary, but rather contaminated by it. Finally, whereas the objective and the reflective regimes operate within the sphere of intentional (dis)simulation, the phantasmatic image carries us beyond Sartre’s findings, as it shapes the very structure of pre-reflective disclosedness which provides the background for our projects.

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Anti-Racism and Existential Philosophy

An interview with Kathryn Sophia Belle

Kathryn Sophia Belle and Edward O'Byrn

Kathryn Sophia Belle's (formerly Kathryn T. Gines’) publications engaged in this interview:

2003 (Fanon/Sartre 50 yrs) “Sartre and Fanon Fifty Years Later: To Retain or Reject the Concept of Race,” Sartre Studies International, Vol. 9, Issue 2 (2003): 55-67, https://doi.org/10.3167/135715503781800213.

2010 (Convergences) “Sartre, Beauvoir, and the Race/Gender Analogy: A Case for Black Feminist Philosophy” in Convergences: Black Feminism and Continental Philosophy, pages 35-51. Eds. Maria Davidson, Kathryn T. Gines, Donna Dale Marcano. New York: SUNY, 2010.

2011 (Wright/Legacy) “The Man Who Lived Underground: Jean-Paul Sartre and the Philosophical Legacy of Richard Wright,” Sartre Studies International, Vol. 17, Issue 2 (2011): 42-59, https://doi.org/10.3167/ssi.2011.170204.

2012 (Reflections) “Reflections on the Legacy and Future of Continental Philosophy with Regard to Critical Philosophy of Race,” The Southern Journal of Philosophy, Vol. 50, Issue 2 (June 2012): 329-344, https://doi.org/10.1111/j.2041-6962.2012.00109.x.

Open access

The Case of Australia

Trust During Pandemic Uncertainty—A Qualitative Study of Midlife Women in South Australia

Paul R. Ward, Belinda Lunnay, Kristen Foley, Samantha B. Meyer, Jessica Thomas, Ian Olver, and Emma R. Miller

Abstract

Government responses to COVID-19 have dramatically altered the social quality of daily circumstances. Consequently, theoretical questions about social cohesion require recalibration as we explore new models of social quality. Central to this article is trust, one of the fundamental tenets of social cohesion. We present data from interviews with 40 women in midlife (45–64 years) regarding their everyday experiences of “life in lockdown” during the pandemic. Key themes focus on women's (dis)trust in individuals (e.g., politicians, public health experts, family, themselves) and systems (e.g., politics, medicine, the media). This study provides insights into the differential impact of the pandemic in shaping public trust and hence social cohesion—in authority, institutions, and “each other”—with important lessons for how future efforts can rebuild trust in post-pandemic times.

Open access

The Case of Brazil

Coloniality and Pandemic Misgovernance as Necropolitical Tools in the Amazon

Vanessa Boanada Fuchs

Abstract

This article analyzes the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the lives of the Amazonian populations of Brazil. Following the social quality approach, it inquires into how COVID-19 intertwined with and reinforced underlying trends and inequalities in different life domains expressed in long-term societal complexities, urban–rural dynamics, and environmental transformations. The article finds that the pandemic, following coloniality of power patterns, has been instrumentalized as a necropolitical tool, and has disproportionately impacted certain peoples and territories based on ethnoracial bias. The collapse of the local health system in the State of Amazonas is a systemic burden, not serendipity. A dialogue is proposed between decolonial and social quality approaches to analyze, unveil, and denounce the interplay between the coloniality of power patterns in non-Western contexts.