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Existentialism
Jean Pauls Sartre (1905 - 1980)
Truth and Existence (fragment)


Wait a minute, there's a snag somewhere; something disagreeable. Why, now, should it be disagreeable?...Ah,I see; it's life without a break. (Jean Paul Sartre - huis clos)
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- Truth and Existence

1. If there is such a mode of common being as inauthenticity, then all of History is inauthentic and action in History results in inauthenticity; authenticity reverts to individualism. Conversely, if the nature of man in to be realized at the end of Hitory, inauthenticity must be willed for itself as the very condition of historical struggle. Any doctrine of conversion runs the real risk of being an a-historicism. Any octrine of historicitiy runs the reak risk of being an amoralism.

2. To be or to historialize ourselves? If it is to be, History us unessential. But History itself, it it has a meaning, makes itself in order that man may be (progress, dialectics, etc...). History's adventurer historializes himeself for History (in order that the historical process may come about through him, in order to be a historical agent). Thus the goal is indifferent. Anotehr aspect of the inessentialisty of the goal: destoni. Spengler. Man historializes himself within the perspective of the acceptance of a destiny; he historializes himself either by accepting that the historical process is what it must be and by vooperating with it - or by accepting that his historical position is futile (tragic position) .In any case the objective falls outside the human will. Historical pleasure is posited for itself. To enjoy destiny. On the other hand, if the goal is essential, History is only as means; it is inessential-essential. For example, for Marz it will be prehistory. We must then reject all historical complacency while knowing that we cannot enjoy Being.

As for this Being itself, it is conceived in the inauthentic (hapiness or the harmonious society), because it is first of all posited by needs (hunger, revolt against slavery, etc.)

      a) Man must seek Being, but through historialization. Hist lost is historialization thowards Being. Being is the idea. Lived experience (le vécu), the domain of ethics, this is History for Being.

      b) Authenticity must be sought in historialization. Then end of History is the myth which perpetually postpones this end.

To consider that the unknowable and the unverifiable fall outside of man: this is positivism. Man is a being without relationship to what he cannot know. Man is defined by what he can know. The antithesis: to define man by mystery - then mystical position. At night all cows are gray. Reject the notion of mystery. Reject the fact that man defines himself solely through forms of knowledge and ignorance which are only the absence of possible forms of knowledge. Certainly questioning comes into thye universe through man. But as soon as the world is illuminated through the general category of questioning, questions bein to form. In a universe in question, to know if the planets are inhabited is an objective question. Man is the being through whom questions come into the workld; but man also is the bing to whom questions come into the world that concern him and that he cannot resolve. Thus man defines himself in relationship to this igonarnce.
he defines what he is and what he seeks in terms of it.

 

 

 

TRUTH AND EXISTENCE

The only kind of unconditioned existence: Hegel´+s absolute- subject. Then In-itself collapses if it does not become For-itself. Unfortunately there are consciousnesses and there is being-in-itself. What remains of this absolute-subject for the individual consciousness? First of all, that it is and absolute subject. Because it is first of all for-itself. But it is only (absolute) for-itself. And the In-itself will never be In-itself for itself but In-itself for a consciousness that is not it. Then knowledge appears. THe In-itself-For-itelsef is a pure type of being. Thus cinscousness is not knowledge but existence (see beng and nothingness).
   The doubling of Being is necessary to Being. Besides, this doubling results in the modification opf its presence-to-itself. The absolute-subject is nonsubstantial. But in relation to the In-itself of which it is consciousness, consciousness cannot be that of which it is conscious. The latter is tied to being only insofar as it exists for anabsolute subject. Thus the known being is a hybrid and incomplete being. It is a being for itself which does not attain undonditioned being. It is a being for itself which does not attain unconditioned being and which becomes being for one absolute subject. The subject is absolute but is nothing but the consciousness of th In-itself; the In-itself is something but it can only be maintained in its being through the absolute-subject which it is not. Thus to know, is to draw Being from the night of Being without bing able to lead it to the translucency ofd the For-itself. In spite of everything, to know is to confer a dimension of being onto Being: luminosity.
     Truth is therefore a certain dimansion that ocmes to Being through consciousness, Truth is the being-as-it-is of a being for an absolute-subject. At the level of the cogito it becomes useless to speak of truth because we have only bing (existence). The essence of truth is the "there is" [il y a] of "there is being." The love of truth is the love of Being and the love of Being's function making Being present [présentification de l'Etre]. Seeking truth would not be so fascinating if it were only a question of determining what Being is totallly without any relationship to me. Nor would this be the case, if truth were creation. But truth is Being as it is, to the extent that I confert on it a new dimension of being. Being is the night. To be illuminated already means to be something else. In illuminating, the absolute-subject goes right up to the point at which it would justify its existence by reconvering the In-itself and by making it an In-itself and FOr-itself. But it is stopped by Nothing, the insurmontable limit of not-being. Yet it has a relationship of being with the I -itself since it exists in order that there may be an In-itself. The revelation of the In-itself as pure event, happening to the In-itself as a new virtual dimension of being of the In-itself, whis is the absolute subject. Thus truth is an absolute event whose appearance coincide with the upsurge of humanñ-reality and History.

Truth begins as a history of Being and it is a history of Being, since it is prograssive disclosure of Being. Truth desappears with man. Being then sinks back into timeless night. Thus truth is the temporalizaion of Being such as it is insofar as the absolute-subject confers on it a progressive unveiling as a new dimension of being. It goes without saying that truth is total because the absolute-subject is totalizing. By its appearance in Being it makes there be a totality of Being. This concrete totality of Being is Truth, since it is what is revealed. Thus truth is not a logical and universal organization of abstract "truth": is is the totality of Being to the extent that it is manifested as a there is in the historialization of himan reality. Yet truth cannot be for just a single absolut-subject. If I comminicate a revealed manifestation, I communicate it with my revealing behavios, with the outline and selection that I performed on it; with contours. In this case, what is given to the otehr is an in-itself-for-itself. If I say the table is round, I communicate to the other an already unveiled and already cut-out object in the totality of objects, exactly as if I handed him a penholder (already worked wood). At tyhis moment, the In-itself appears to the newcomer as For-itself, as subjectivity. It is In-itself and it also what a subjectivity reveals of the In-itself (I judge my companion by what he shows me of his landscape.) At the same time the For-itself becomes In-itself: by transcending the vision and the statement towards my own ends, I make an object of them on my path and a a truth preceisely in the sense that the truth is the objectivity of the subjective: Galileo's insight [la vue] becomes lay.

 


Ce qu'on fait n'est jamais compris mais seulement loué ou blâmé. Nietzsche, Gay Science

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