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From In-Itself to Practico-Inert

Freedom, Subjectivity and Progress

Kimberly S. Engels

’s concept of in-itself in Being and Nothingness 2 to practico-inert in CDR and beyond accounts for many of the differences in the views of human subjectivity presented in his earlier and later works. By subjectivity, I mean the state of being a conscious

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Monstrous Masses

The Human Body as Raw Material

John Marmysz

depictions of the human body as raw material. My investigation will proceed, first, by explicating an ontological distinction between being-in-itself and being-for-itself , which will allow for a clarification of the processes involved in the

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Eric Tremault

In Being and Nothingness, Sartre explains that being-in-itself is transphenomenal and becomes a phenomenon only through the process by which consciousness qualifies itself as its negation. Thus, there can be no phenomenon except as the object that consciousness (consciously) negates. This ontology of phenomena proves contradictory because one does not understand how consciousness can negate what does not appear to it, especially if it needs to do so as an existentialist freedom, which has to choose (in terms of phenomena) the end towards which it negates being. Sartre's theory of facticity as 'body' then comes as an alternative conception of phenomena, answering these problems by ultimately tending to present being-in-itself as a non-objective, hence non-conscious, phenomenon. Intentional consciousness thus becomes a transcendental condition for objectivity only and not for phenomenality in general.

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Joseph S. Catalano

I understand Sartre's ontology to develop in three stages: first, through Being and Nothingness and Saint Genet: Actor and Martyr; second, through the Critique of Dialectical Reason; and, finally, as it unfolds in The Family Idiot. Each stage depends upon the former and deepens the original ontology, while still introducing novel elements. For example, in Being and Nothingness, the in-itself, which is the source of our world-making, develops in the Critique into the practico-inert, which is the world made artifact, and in The Family Idiot, both the in-itself and the practico-inert unite to become the Spirit of the Age, joining our adventure with nature to that of our adventure with our family and our history. My reflection will be developed in four stages: first, a general overview; second, a more extended study of what Sartre calls the problematic of human reality; third, a brief reflection on Sartre's methodology; and finally, a concluding survey.

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Francesco Maria Scanni and Francesco Compolongo

The 2008 crisis and economic transformations (globalisation and financialisation) fuelled significant political phenomena, such as a deep distrust of politics, electoral volatility and the decline of bipolarity and/or bipartisanship in the face of growing outsider party affirmation. In this context, the dialectical model of the Gramscian ‘social totality’ provides an analytical tool capable of analysing those ‘transition’ phases characterised by a fracturing ‘dominant historical bloc’, in itself a precursor to an organic crisis of traditional political parties’ separation of social classes.

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Ota de Leonardis

Social policy plays a very important role in the social quality of Europe, and not only because it considerably affects the life conditions of the population. I will argue that its structure and weight affects at least as much: (a) the possibility of acknowledging as common goods social benefits such as health, education, social security; and (b) the presence of public discourse arenas about these goods, where the daily life of democracy is carried out. This is why social policy holds a great importance even for the building of European democracy, and for Europe's socio-political integration in itself.

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Geneviève Giroux

This article analyzes references to history and, a fortiori, to memory in official French discourse during and after German unification. It shows that the understanding of the past complies, in every sense of the word, with France's European policy. Entirely oriented towards the promotion and justification of the European future, official memory distorts some historical facts in order to exorcise the present of a cumbersome past. Because it serves as a means of deferring to the national interest rather than as an end in itself, this representation of the past shows the limits of the official memory.

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A Letter from the Past and the Present

Tokutomi Roka's `Autumn in Ryōmō'

Susanna Fessler

In 1893, a young writer named Tokutomi Kenjiro¯ (pen name Roka, 1868–1927) set off from Tokyo on a few days’ journey to the Ryo¯mo¯ region in the western mountains of central Japan. This in itself was unremarkable, as countless others had made similar journeys before. What was noteworthy was the travelogue he produced as a result of this trip. A fascinating mix of tradition and modernity, this travelogue shows us how travel writing in Japan metamorphosed during the late nineteenth century into a unique subgenre that incorporated both Japanese and Western sensibilities.

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P. Sven Arvidson

According to philosopher Paul Woodruff, reverent awe is a feeling of being limited or dwarfed by something larger than the human, usually accompanied by feelings of respect for fellow human beings. Drawing from Jean-Paul Sartre’s early philosophy, this article responds positively to the title question, showing how reverent awe is in bad faith yet is similar to anguish, and unique with respect to both. Especially remarkable in reverent awe is the feeling of connectedness to humankind. In section two, building on this section one framework of how Sartrean consciousness can be reverent, the article explores how being-in-itself (l’être-en-soi) can be an object of reverent awe.

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Marie-Eve Morin

This paper compares Sartre's and Nancy's experience of the plurality of beings. After briefly discussing why Heidegger cannot provide such an experience, it analyzes the relation between the in-itself and for-itself in Sartre and between bodies and sense in Nancy in order to ask how this experience can be nauseating for Sartre, but meaningful for Nancy. First, it shows that the articulation of Being into beings is only a coat of veneer for Sartre while for Nancy Being is necessarily plural. Then, it contrasts Nausea as an experience without language with Nancy's thinking of the excription of sense in the thing.