Modern concepts of existentialism : essays on Sartrean problems in philosophy, political theory and aesthetics
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In this volume, Sartre and existentialism, scholars from several countries discuss the interpretation and relevance of existentialism, and especially of Sartre's thought, for modern philosophy, political theory and aesthetics. Existentialism is understood as a kind of philosophical attitude, not reducible to the post-war philosophical fashion. In the 13 years since the death of Sartre, studies on his work have undergone a change from partisan writing to academic scholarship, a thematic specialization as well as a transition of interest from Sartre's life to his works has taken place. The contributions in this volume offer a sample of the width and breadth of modern "Sartrology". Some studies presented here (Eisenhardt, Zimmermann, Palonen) consist of general interpretations of the intellectual tradition, taking up specific concepts, themes and links between Sartre and other thinkers in the tradition; while the other contributions discuss more specific problems in the work of Sartre. In the first of his two articles Peter Eisenhardt (Frankfurt) discusses the notion of existence in the philosophical tradition, emphasizing the transcending of the actual self by the existential notion of individual. Rainer Zimmermann (Berlin) places the Sartrean thought in relation to the philosophical traditions through a discussion of some central notions. He especially emphasizes the links between Sartre and the dialectical traditions. In his second article, Peter Eisenhardt takes up the conceptual shifts and diversities in a key notion of existentialism, namely conscience, as this is treated in the philosophy of Kierkegaard, Heidegger and Jaspers. Thomas Flynn (Atlanta) sets out the Sartrean view on history in parallel to his problematic thesis on littérature engagée. He accentuates both Sartre's advocacy of a 'committed history' and the presence of a 'poetics of history' in the Critique de la raison dialectique and other writings on history. Leena Subra (Jyvaskylä) reinterprets Sartre's discussion on bad faith: insted of a lack of authenticity she sees in it a form of disidentification, which can be used politically as the expression of an ambivalent marginality. Kari Palonen (Jyvaskylä) interprets existentialism as a 'language of politics' around a common vocabulary, emphazises the links of authors like Max Weber and Hannah Arendt with this language of politics and discusses more specifically the déjouer-conception of politics in Sartre's Critique. Maria Francesca Daví Trimarchi (Messina) discusses Sartre's war diaries Carnets de la drôle de guerre from the viewpoint of Sartre's problems with the temporality of writing in an autobiographical text. Gérard Wormser (Paris) takes up Sartre's oscillation between the literary and philosophical registers, above all the role of Sartre's philosophy for understanding his Saint Genet. The problems of totalisation and the relations between biography and history form the key for Kathrin Sollich's (Berlin) essay on L'Idiot de la famille. Peter Knopp (Berlin) discusses Sartre's less known musicological views and their relations to the roots of Sartrean thought, contrasting them with the provocative music of John Cage. ...
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