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Sartre and the Problem of Universal Human Nature Revisited

Lookup NU author(s): Professor David RoseORCiD



In this paper I propose to look exclusively at the philosophical thought of Sartre and to situate it in relation to the wider European tradition and other thinkers, especially Heidegger. The purpose arises from the general acceptance of Sartre’s philosophy in the British academic environment as an example of a contradictory account of freedom and human nature. Such a reading, I shall contend, is based on a mistaken appropriation of Sartre’s concept of existence which has been divorced from its origins in the modern European tradition and the over-determination of the meaning of freedom as uncaused spontaneity. To look at Sartre without reference to his influences such as Kant, Hegel and Heidegger and without considering his later works is the reason that this prevalent, mistaken reading is still accepted in many quarters.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Rose D

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Sartre Studies International

Year: 2003

Volume: 9

Issue: 1

Pages: 1-20

Date deposited: 30/11/2011

ISSN (print): 1357-1559

ISSN (electronic): 1558-5476

Publisher: Berghahn Books Ltd


DOI: 10.3167/135715503781824929


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