This essay argues that an adequate account of bad faith cannot be given without taking the second half of Being and Nothingness into consideration. There are two separate but related reasons for this. First, the objectifying gaze of Others provides a necessary condition for the possibility of bad faith. Sartre, however, does not formally introduce analysis of Others until Parts III and IV. Second, upon the introduction of Others, Sartre revises his view of absolute freedom. Sartre's considered view of freedom helps to make sense out of bad faith in a way that does not seem possible were freedom absolute.
Matthew C. Eshleman
It is a great honor that Ronald Santoni has offered such a carefully argued, and well supported response to my essay, the latter two qualities (careful and well supported) are not ones that can always be ascribed to my original essay. It should be said, then, at the outset, many of our disagreements likely result from the fact that I some- times fail to state matters in a sufficiently clear and or succinct manner. The crux of our apparent disagreement rides on whether the Other is a necessary condition for all instances of bad faith. Apparent, for I never intended to make this universal claim. Below I show that my thesis is more modest.
Matthew C. Eshleman
Given the powerful autobiographical bearing witness in Ronald Aronson’s Living Without God (hereafter LWG), a personal story seems in order. I first heard Ron’s voice in 1996 at Dennison University and this experience left the following indelible impression. Not knowing which concurrent session to attend at my first NASS meeting, I more or less arbitrarily selected a panel on the early Sartre. About half way through the session and from well down the hall a fierce dialectical battle exploded. Our session came to a momentary standstill. While the content of the debate was unclear, the audible energy and disagreement was unmistakable. So too was my conclusion: I was attending the wrong panel!
Matthew C. Eshleman and Ronald E. Santoni
Can violence ever be justified or is violence necessarily oppressive? Is self-defensive counter-violence or “revolutionary violence” aimed at human liberation, which Sartre defended, necessarily in bad faith? These questions form the crux of the debate between Matt Eshleman and Ronald Santoni. Is violence by nature Manichean, making the Other into an “object” and evil antagonist, and thus dehumanizing and oppressing the Other? Or can violence be liberatory when it is directed at oppressors? Both authors—but especially Eshleman, and Santoni reluctantly—agree that some forms of violence (such as self-defense) do not involve bad faith, but disagree about whether or when revolutionary violence can be justified.
Matthew C. Eshleman, David Lethbridge, J. C. Berendzen and T Storm Heter
T Storm Heter, Sartre’s Ethics of Engagement Review by Matthew C. Eshleman
Jean-Paul Sartre, The Aftermath of War Review by David Lethbridge
David Sherman, Sartre and Adorno: The Dialectics of Subjectivity Review by J. C. Berendzen
Yiwei Zheng, Ontology and Ethics in Sartre’s Early Philosophy Review by T Storm Heter
Matthew C. Eshleman, Eric Hamm, Curtis Sommerlatte, Adrian van den Hoven, Michael Lejman and Diane Perpich
Peter Jones, Michael Butler, Taylor Smith, Matthew C. Eshleman and David Detmer
Three articles analyze David Detmer’s first book on Sartre, Freedom as a Value. Peter Jones argues that Sartre uses freedom in only one sense, as freedom to choose, whereas Detmer argues that Sartre distinguishes between freedom of choice (“ontological freedom”) and freedom of obtaining (“practical freedom”). Michael Butler’s paper contends that under a Sartrean framework, any moral judgment we make regarding our own action is never final; the meaning and moral value of our past actions always remains reinterpretable in light of what unfolds in the future. Our interactions with other people reveal that we are responsible for far more than we had initially supposed ourselves to be choosing when we began our project, such that it is in fact impossible to ever finish taking responsibility completely. Taylor Smith and Matthew Eshleman tackle Sartre’s supposed “subjectivism” from the opposite angle. They agree with Detmer that Sartre’s belief that values are mind-dependent does not necessarily entail ethical subjectivism, but argue that even the early Sartre was more fully committed to a cognitivist view of normative justification than Detmer allows. Detmer’s replies to all three essays round out this section and this issue.
Nicholas J. Wernicki, Shannon M. Mussett, Adrian van den Hoven and Matthew C. Eshleman
David Detmer, Sartre Explained Review by Nicholas J. Wernicki
Christine Daigle and Jacob Golomb, eds., Beauvoir & Sartre: The Riddle of Influence Review by Shannon M. Mussett
John Foley, Albert Camus: From the Absurd to Revolt Review by Adrian van den Hoven
Sebastian Gardner, Sartre’s Being and Nothingness: A Reader’s Guide Review by Matthew C. Eshleman