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Debra Jackson, David Detmer, and Kenneth L. Anderson

Jon Stewart, ed., The Debate Between Sartre and Merleau-Ponty, Evanston, Illinois: Northwestern University Press, 1998, 634 pp. ISBN 0-8101-1532-8 (paper). Review by Debra Jackson

Sartre’s Radicalism and Oakeshott’s Conservatism: The Duplicity of Freedom. Anthon Review by David Detmer

Roger Frie, Subjectivity and Intersubjectivity in Modern Philosophy and Psychoanalysis: A Study of Sartre, Binswanger, Lacan, and Habermas. Lanham, MD, Boulder, New York and London: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 1997, 227 pp., ISBN 0-8476-8415-6, $57.50 (cloth). Review by Kenneth L. Anderson

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Colin Davis

‘What can one know about a man, today?’ When Sartre poses this question on the opening page of the first volume of L’Idiot de la famille, he encapsulates a huge project with teasing casualness. He brings together two of the four fundamental questions of philosophy formulated by Kant, ‘What can I know’ and ‘What is the human being’; and whilst the final word, today, indicates that our knowledge of others is bound to our own historical moment, for Sartre understanding others also necessarily entails attempting to under- stand their relation to history.

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Ian Birchall, Steven Hendley, and Phyllis Morris

Noureddine Lamouchi, Jean-Paul Sartre et le tiers monde, Paris: L’Harmattan, 1996, 346 pp. ISBN 2-7384-4179-3, Ffrs.180.50 Review by Ian Birchall

Thomas R. Flynn, Sartre, Foucault, and Reason in History, Volume 1: Toward an Existentialist Theory. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1997, 340 pp., ISBN 0-226-25468-2, $18.95 (paper). Review by Steven Hendley

William L. McBride, ed., Sartre and Existentialism: Philosophy, Politics, Ethics, The Psyche, Literature, and Aesthetics, Garland Publishing. 8-volume set $583/or by volume. Toll-free (U.S.) 800-627-6273 Review by Phyllis Morris

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Kathleen Wider

Phyllis Sutton Morris, co-founder of the Sartre Society of North America and member of its executive committee for several years, died on May 31, 1997 from complications due to cancer. Phyllis received her undergraduate degree in philosophy from the University of California at Berkeley and her doctorate from the University of Michigan. She taught for several years at Kirkland College in New York and was, at various times in more recent years, on the faculty at LeMoyne College, Oberlin College, and the University of Michigan. She was a devoted teacher who dedicated a great deal of time and energy to preparing her classes and to meeting with students.

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The first issue of volume four of Sartre Studies International exemplifies the full range of Sartre’s intellectual output: literary, philosophical and political. Three articles by Colin Davis, Edward Greenwood and Paul Reed are centred on the multiple interactions in Sartre’s work between philosophy and literature. In a penetrating analysis of Sartre’s Le Mur, Colin Davis explores the complex relationship between ethics and fiction, between Moral Law and jouissance. ‘The lie of Sartre’s narrator in “Le Mur”’, contends Davis, ‘represents a way of sharing the pain of his/her powerlessness and mortality’, and is coincidental with ‘an assault through fiction on the reader whose power to judge and comprehend is wrested away’.

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Sonia R. Kruks

“I think that to watch others in their solitude grappling with what comes to them, making it into themselves, and giving it back to the world as something that was not there before is to see the very image of what each of us is. It is to experience the least common denominator of our inwardness” (xvi). These observations, drawn from the “apologia” with which Hazel Barnes begins her venture, encapsulate her vision of existentialism, as well as her views on the purposes of autobiography and literature more broadly. Her vision is, of course, indebted to the philosophy of Sartre, but is not identical to his. For Barnes gives Sartre’s existentialism back to the world with her own distinctive mark on it, as less agonistic and more concerned with human connectivity.

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Ronald E. Santoni

In “Santoni on Bad Faith and sincerity: A vindication of Sartre,” Xavier Monasterio uses the recent publication of my book, Bad Faith, Good Faith, and Authenticity in Sartre’s Early Philosophy,1 as an occasion to “reevaluate an important piece of the Sartrean heritage” and to take me to task for some of my detailed criticisms and reconstruction of core Sartrean views on bad faith and sincerity. Charging that I have “missed Sartre’s point” in places, he sets out to show how some basic criticisms in two of my chapters are unwarranted and, hence, that Sartre is in no need of the “rescuing operation,” “salvaging efforts,” or “reconstruction” that I offer in these early chapters.

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Marie-Andrée Charbonneau

An encounter between Sartre and Lacan did in fact take place. What I propose to do in the following text is examine a particular moment of that historical rendezvous, in 1936. The evidence for such a rendezvous cannot be denied for a number of reasons. First of all, the philosopher and the psychoanalyst frequented the same intellectual milieu. Lacan’s interest in philosophy led him to attend Alexandre Kojève’s seminar on Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit that ran from 1933 to 1939 at the École pratique des Hautes Études in Paris. In fact, he was listed as “regularly present” at the seminar from 1934 to 1937. Sartre also attended this seminar which “would adjourn to the Café d’Harcourt for further discussions.”

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Walter Skakoon

Readers of Sartre’s biographies often have the impression that they reveal more about Sartre than about Baudelaire, Flaubert or Genet. The reason for this is our awareness of Sartre’s philosophy which serves as an explicit paradigm for the construction and explicitation of his literary and his biographical works. We speak of a Sartrean play, a Sartrean biography, because they lay bare not only characteristic features of the genre but also of the author and this also is true of a Hegelian or Marxist history or a Freudian psychology. These writers have all invented their own paradigms and if one decides to use their paradigm one is considered a Hegelian, Marxist or Sartrean follower.

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Robert Zaretsky

Algeria is never far from the center of Albert Camus's life and work—no further, in effect, than Ithaka is from the center of Odysseus's thoughts. In fact, Camus tended to see his native country through his readings of ancient Greek myth and tragedy. This article traces the ways in which Camus, with materials provided by ancient Greece, not only represented his native land, but also elaborated a “Mediterranean” school of thought—la pensée du Midi—that emphasizes the role of moderation or “measure.” There is an undeniable aspect of nostalgia to Camus's rendering of his country and its past, but this does not undermine its validity. By making use of Svetlana Boym's fruitful distinction between reflective and restorative forms of nostalgia, I suggest that the combination of the two categories lies at the heart of Camus's “philosophy of limits.”