JBSP Online: Gavin Rae – “Sartre on Action: Decentring the Will”

journal update

Online a new article for the Journal of the British Society for Phenomenology by Gavin Rae (Universidad Complutense de Madrid).

Gavin Rae – “Sartre on Action: Decentring the Will”

JBSP (Received 20 Sep 2023, Accepted 14 Mar 2024, Published online: 12 Apr 2024).

Abstract: The Western philosophic tradition has tended to tie the question of action to that of freedom, with the relationship structured around the free will/determinism opposition. In contrast, I show that in Being and Nothingness, Sartre offers a stringent and radical critique of these approaches. I briefly outline the conceptual parameters of Sartre’s early ontology, before showing that he rejects the free will tradition because of its underlying conception of freedom and insistence that action is reflective and will-based. According to Sartre, consciousness is not a sum of parts, with one aspect (will) guiding the rest. Consciousness is a differentiated whole, divided between reflective and pre-reflective levels. Will is tied to the reflective level of consciousness and so cannot be said to be foundational given that reflectivity depends upon pre-reflectivity. Instead, it is an expressive effect of consciousness’s spontaneous, pre-reflective, projection of itself towards a particular end and value.

Full article: https://doi.org/10.1080/00071773.2024.2332200

Gavin Rae, Department of Logic and Theoretical Philosophy, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Madrid, Spain

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