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Untrue to One's Own Self: Sartre's The Transcendence of the Ego

Iker Garcia

In this paper, I elicit a number of ways in which, according to the Sartre of The Transcendence of the Ego, we can miss the truth about our own self or, more simply, about ourselves. In order to do that, I consider what I call “statements about one's own self,” that is, statements of the form “I ...” where the predicate of the statement is meant to express things that are true of what is evidently given in reflection. I argue that, although statements about one's own self can, according to Sartre, be true on final philosophical analysis, there are at least three senses in which statements about one's own self can or do miss the truth, even when they are (by hypothesis) true. How they miss the truth depends on the different level of philosophical analysis at which we take Sartre to be working.