Motivation and the Establishment of Ends in Sartre's Act Theory

in Sartre Studies International
Author: Stephen Wang
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This article will look at Sartre’s analysis of the human act in Being and Nothingness. In Sartre’s understanding a motive is not something that exists prior to the act as its cause. Motives and causes only come to exist through freely chosen human acts, and these choices have no foundation outside the upsurge of the act itself. This is an unusual and counter-intuitive description of human action, but it fits with the phenomenological evidence of human experience, and illuminates a number of problems that arise in deterministic accounts of action.

Sartre Studies International

An Interdisciplinary Journal of Existentialism and Contemporary Culture


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