Posts Tagged 'france'

Philosophy as Totalization of Knowledge

Sartre drawing

In the introduction to Critique of Dialectical Reason (which in America was published separately as Search for a Method) Sartre wrote:

If philosophy is to be simultaneously a totalization of knowledge,, a method, a regulative Idea, an offensive weapon, and a community of language, if this “vision of the world” is also an instrument which ferments rotten societies, if this particular conception of a man or of a group of men becomes the culture and sometimes the nature of a whole class-then it is very clear that the periods of philosophical creation are rare…If this movement on the part of the philosophy no longer exists, one of two things is true: either the philosophy is dead or it is going through a “crisis.” In the first case there is no question of revising, but of razing a rotten building; in the second case the “philosophical crisis” is the particular expression of a social crisis, and its immobility is conditioned by the contradictions which split society.  A so-called “revision,” performed by “experts,” would be, therefore, only an idealist mystification without real significance.  It is the very movement of History, the struggle of men on all planes and on all levels of human activity, which will set free captive thought and permit it to attain its full development. (Sartre, 6-8)

Source

Sartre, Jean-Paul.  Search for a Method.  Translated by Hazel E. Barnes.  New York: Vintage Books, 1968.

Overcoming a Series Through a Group

Sartre

In Jean-Paul Sartre‘s (1905-1980 CE) book Critique of Dialectical Reason Sartre merged Marxism with Existentialism.  Sartre stated that Marxism was the philosophy of its time and Existentialism just a small, less important, mode of thought under the umbrella of Marxism and Communism.

Sartre stated a Series was a group of people in relation to each other but with no common goal while a Group was a group of people in relation to each other, who know they are in relation to each other, and have a common unified goal and that Parti communiste français (PCF) erred in seeing the working class as a Group instead of seeing it as a Series.

It is seriality which must be overcome in order to achieve even the smallest common result (such as averting too rapid a fall of purchasing power).  But it is serialisty too which sustains the group making demands, in its very passivity, as a source of possible energy – the group, in fact, from the practical point of view of its action, can no longer conceive it except in the synthetic form of potentiality…

This means that class-being, as past, present, and future seriality, is always the ontological statute of the worker and that group praxis, as a surface dissolution of the relation of alterity [my note: “the state of being other or different] inside the class (and therefore on the surface in the worker) and as a conservative transcendence of serial being, is either the present practical reality of the common individual or his future possibility as an induced signification and as an abstract unification applying to the series from the depths of the future. (Sartre, 687-8)

Source

Sartre, Jean-Paul.  Critique of Dialectical Reason I: Theory of Practical Ensembles.  Edited by Jonathan Ree and translated by Alan Sheridan-Smith.  London: New Left Books, 1978.


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