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By Maurice Natanson

"Why is my ache perpetual, and my wound incurable, which refuseth to be healed?" -Jeremiah "Existentialism" this day refers to faddism, decadentism, morbidity, the "philosophy of the graveyard"; to phrases like worry, dread, anxiousness, pain, affliction, aloneness, loss of life; to novelists corresponding to Jean-Paul Sartre, Dostoievski, Camus, Kafka; to philosophers like Kierkegaard, Heidegger, Marcel, Jaspers, and Sartre-and since it refers to, and is worried with, all of those principles and folks, existentialism has misplaced any clearer which means it might probably have initially possessed. since it has such a lot of definitions, it will probably now not be outlined. As Sartre writes: "Most those that use the note existentialism will be em­ barrased in the event that they needed to clarify it, given that, now that the note is the entire rage, even the paintings of a musician or painter is being known as existentialist. A gossip columnist . . . indicators himself The Exis­ tentialist, in order that by way of this time the notice has been so stretched and has taken on so huge a that means, that it now not potential whatever in any respect. " 2 This nation of definitional confusion isn't an unintended or negligible subject. An try may be made during this creation to account for the confustion and to teach why any definition of existentialism in­ volves us in a tangle. First, in spite of the fact that, it can be crucial to kingdom in a tenta­ tive and extremely common demeanour what issues of view are right here meant whilst reference is made to existentialism.

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Extra resources for A Critique of Jean-Paul Sartre’s Ontology

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EN, 484. , 502. 9J! , 503. 90 81 Chapter III THE SELF 1. FREEDOM According to Sartre, every action is, in principle, intentional; and true action implies a consciousness of acting on the part of the actor. Thus, if someone throws away a lighted cigarette which happens to set off a fuse, which in turn produces an explosion, he has not acted. 1 Since action is necessarily intentional, no political or economic fact can cause action in the individual. " The "lack" of the pour-so; is its Nothingness.

1 am at this moment looking for Pierre; as I look about me at the scene where he is supposed to be, there is, for me, a successive disappearance of objects, Sartre says,-of those objects which are not Pierre. The "nihilated" form of Pierre rises between my look and the objects upon which my look is directed. 27 ·'EN,178-174. nCf. , 59. , 45. THE SEARCH FOR BEING 27 This non-conceptual Nothingness has a certain structure which the purely conceptual Nothingness does not have. If, after I have determined that Pierre is absent, I say to myself, "Well, George Washington isn't here either," there arises no constitution of the Nothingness of George Washington.

This new knowledge is gained during certain states of my body: when I perspire in fear of the Other, when I blush, etc. In such instances, I have a consciousness of my body not as it is for me, but as it is for the Other. 63 The Being which we are escapes us, and we, paradoxically, get to know that Being in tangential fashion through the manner in which we experience that Being as it is for the Other. Thus, for example, we can never know our body as it is; only another sees us in totality so that he sees our body as it is; but in being aware of the fact that I am object for another who sees my body as it is, I feel timidity or shame, and in the experience of that timidity or shame my body becomes known to me as body-known-by-the-Other.

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