By introducing 'drives' into a Sartrean framework, 'being-in-itself' is interpreted as 'Nature as such', wherein instincts dominate. Being-for-itself, on the contrary, has an ontological nature diametrically opposed to this former - indeed, in the latter realm, through a fundamental process of 'nihilation' (Sartre's 'freedom') consciousness perpetually flees itself by transcending towards the world. However, a kernel of (our) nihilated Nature is left at the heart of this process, in the form of 'original facticity' that we here name drives. Drives are the original feelings and urges of a freed Nature that simply are there; they are the fundamental forces that consciousness qua freedom always has to deal with. Drives, in addition, can be nihilated in their own turn, onto a reflective, irreal plane, whereby they take the form of value. This means Sartre's notion of ontological desire is always made up of two necessary components: drives and value.
Sartrean conceptions of the Ego, emotions, language, and the imaginary provide a comprehensive account of "magic" that could ultimately give rise to a new philosophical psychology. By focusing upon only one of these here—the imaginary—we see that through its irrealizing capabilities consciousness contaminates the world and bewitches itself in a manner that defies simple deterministic explication. We highlight this with an explication of what Sartre means by "nihilation" and the "analogon," and introduce a concrete example of nostalgia, hoping to lay the scene for a detailed study into the dynamic between our ontological freedom and its constitution and experience of phenomena as enchanting and bewitching. "Magical being" must therefore involve a deep, Sartrean analysis that explicates ontological freedom as becoming concretely engaged in both the real and irreal alike, whereby the imaginary as magic can lead to the most insane, as well as the most artistic, incantations.
I argue for three different concepts of God in Being and Nothingness. First I review the relevant scholarship with regard to Sartre, religion, and God. Second I show how Sartre uses three Gods in his ontological system: God as Nature, God as radical Otherness, and God as absolute Value. Third I show that Sartre's conception of the imaginary explains how a purer, more theoretical conception of God can be perverted into more anthropocentrised and anthropomorphised versions. Fourth I consider the consequences of sticking to more Sartrean notions which ultimately can emphasise humility, respect, and responsibility before Nature, the Other, and Value, thereby calling for a reduction of both anthropomorphism and -centrism in religious faith and our conceptions of God.
Robert Boncardo, Jean-Pierre Boulé, Nik Farrell Fox, and Daniel O'Shiel
Gaye Çankaya Eksen, Spinoza et Sartre: De la politique des singularités à l'éthique de générosité. Préface de Chantal Jacquet (Paris: Classiques Garnier, 2017), 293 pp., 39 €, ISBN 9782406058007 (paperback).
François Noudelmann, Un tout autre Sartre (Paris : Gallimard, 2020) 206 pp., €18 (paper) / €12.99 (e-book), ISBN 9782072887109.
The Nietzschean Mind, edited by Paul Katsafanas (Oxford: Routledge, 2018) 475 pp., $200, ISBN: 9781138851689 (hardback) and The Sartrean Mind, edited by Matthew C. Eshleman and Constance L. Mui (Oxford: Routledge, 2020) 579 pp., $200, ISBN: 9781138295698 (hardback).
Caleb Heldt, Immanence and Illusion in Sartre's Ontology of Consciousness (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2020) 195 pp., £64.99, ISBN 978-3-030-49552-7 (eBook)