This issue of Sartre Studies International contains articles and book reviews covering an extraordinarily wide range of topics.
The first two articles focus on Sartre’s thought in relation to psychoanalysis, and more specifically, on his conflicted relationship with the brilliant, controversial psychoanalyst, Jacques Lacan, Sartre’s Parisian contemporary. Blake Scott argues that despite fundamentally different conceptions of subjectivity and agency, Lacan does develop a sense of subjective responsibility that Scott engages effectively with Sartre’s later thought. Betty Cannon, replying directly to Scott (who had brought her own work into the discussion), offers from a clinical point of view a current critical assessment of the relations among Sartre, Freud, and Lacan. She also provides an invaluable update of her own work and practice in relation to Sartre’s existential psychoanalysis (her groundbreaking book, Sartre and Psychoanalysis, was published in 1991), as well as assessing the influence of his thought on many other schools of psychoanalytic thought and related therapies today.
Baya Messaoudi addresses a neglected area of Sartre’s work, the difficult issue of human-animal relations, focusing specifically on problems related to the domestication of dogs. Do these companion animals who live with humans effectively enter into the human world or remain outside of it? What is the cost of their domestication? Can the notion of freedom effectively be invoked to analyze their situation?
Noel N. Sauer discusses Sartre’s theory of mental imagery as it is developed in Sartre’s early phenomenological works, The Imagination and The Imaginary. Sauer responds extensively to the writings of previous critics of Sartre’s theory, including Cam Clayton, whose essay, “The Psychical Analagon in Sartre’s Theory of Imagination,” appeared in this journal in 2011.
Cameron Bassiri provides an interpretation of “The Organization,” an important, but difficult, chapter in Volume One of Sartre’s Critique of Dialectical Reason. On the basis of this interpretation, Bassiri offers an account of Sartre’s ideas on power, rights, duties, moderation, justice, and personal identity, among other topics.
Because the last two issues of Sartre Studies International were devoted to conference proceedings, they contained no book reviews. But the last couple of years have seen the publication of several noteworthy books devoted to Sartre scholarship. This issue concludes with perceptive and informative reviews of eight of them. Happy reading!