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Xavier O. Monasterio

Ronald Santoni’s book, Bad Faith, Good Faith, and Authenticity in Sartre’s Early Philosophy, has been long in the making. Indeed, Sartre’s views on bad faith and the issues related to it have constituted one of Santoni’s life-long philosophical interests, as evidenced by his article of more than twenty years ago.

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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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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.

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Ronald E. Santoni

. Santoni, Bad Faith, Good Faith, and Authenticity in Sartre's Early Philosophy (Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press, 1995). 2 Jonathan Webber, The Existentialism of Jean-Paul Sartre (Abingdon: Routledge, 2009) 3 Jonathan Webber, Reading

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Matthew C. Eshleman

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.

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Ronald E. Santoni

In the present essay I shall attempt three tasks. First, I shall try to illustrate the frequency and contexts in which Sartre associates violence with bad faith. Though focusing primarily on Notebooks for an Ethics, I shall want to show that this connection is hardly confined to that uncompleted and fragmented work. Second, and usually within the same context, I shall aim to make evident the sense or senses in which Sartre ascribes bad faith to violence. For example, what aspects or dimensions of his analysis of bad faith in Being and Nothingness apply here? Third, I want to raise a fundamental question, intended in part to be critical: If, indeed, violence instantiates bad faith, on what grounds can, or does, Sartre justify it on occasion? Given his overall and persistent criticism of bad faith, as well as his embrace of a conversion to authenticity, how can he, in good conscience, strongly endorse, even justify, violence in specified situations? Is there not an inconsistency here? Would not a justification of violence be tantamount to his justifying bad faith in certain circumstances? If so, is not Sartre in bad faith regarding the justification of violence?

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Ronald E. Santoni

In this article, I maintain that (1) Sartre's views on violence are ambivalent and (2) Sartre sometimes justifies violence. More specifically, I attempt to establish the misreadings by Michael Fleming and Marguerite LaCaze (on whom Fleming relies) of both my writing and Sartre's in these regards. Each, by arguing that, for Sartre, violence is “sometimes acceptable” or “functionally necessary” or “understandable,” but not morally justifiable, is ignoring Sartre's tendency at times to skirt the issue of justifiability by employing “weasel words” that amount to justification. Both critics seem to forget that Sartre says that, on occasion, violence “could be called just” (qu'on pourrait appeler juste), especially in conditions of last resort defense against oppression, in which case violence, according to Sartre, can restore and regenerate the oppressed. Further, although I acknowledge Fleming's noteworthy emphasis on “structural violence,” I offer considerable counterevidence against his (and LaCaze's) claim that I ignore or slight Sartre's concern for it. I argue, on Sartrean grounds, against his (and Zizek's) claim that structural violence can be purely objective. Finally, I contend that in arguing that Sartre's views are not strictly ambivalent, Fleming, following LaCaze, makes the error of equating “consistency” with not being ambivalent.

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Ronald E. Santoni

In a probing paper entitled "The Misplaced Chapter on Bad Faith, or Reading Being and Nothingness in Reverse," Matthew Eshleman challenges part of my intensive analysis of Sartre's "Bad Faith," arguing that bad faith is essentially a social phenomenon, and that social elements—the Other, in particular—play a "necessary role in making bad faith possible." Although I share many of Eshleman's interpretative points about the importance of the "social" in Sartre's account, I contend, here, with textual support, that Eshleman is too extreme, and slights the original bad faith to which human reality, in its very "upsurge" as consciousness or freedom, is "congenitally" (Spiegelberg) predisposed. My continued appeal to Sartre's concept of "initial," "fundamental," project, or "natural attitude" of consciousness to flee its freedom—what I have called ontological bad faith—becomes the crux of my critical counter-challenge to Eshleman's thesis.

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Ronald E. Santoni

By this time, most of us are only too familiar with the vehement denunciations of Benny Lévy and his allegedly manipulative, even pernicious, influence on Sartre during Sartre’s last ten years. In her biography of Sartre, Sartre: A Life, Annie Cohen-Solal highlights some of the attacks on Lévy: Roland Castro indicted him as “the least humanist of all leftists, a monster of cynicism and mysticism”; Olivier Todd charged him with the “corruption of an old man”; an ex-Maoist comrade characterized him as “a moralistic fool … capable of turning … an audience around with his perfect speeches and crushing intelligence.”

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Ronald E. Santoni

Before addressing Ronald Aronson’s Living Without God, I wish, first, to make a brief remark or two about the perspective from which I come, and secondly, to offer a few summary comments about “Sartre and Atheism,” a theme that underlies much of Aron- son’s analysis and represents a kind of subtitle for this panel-discus- sion and exchange.