By Gavin Rae (auth.)
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Extra info for Realizing Freedom: Hegel, Sartre, and the Alienation of Human Being
Because being-in-itself is interpreted as an ontologically undifferentiated mass of being, Farrell-Fox is able to claim that, for Sartre, particular objects, such as tables, chairs, rocks and sorts, do not actually exist in-themselves. All that exists in-itself is an undifferentiated mass of being that consciousness subjectively differentiates and divides into various objects. Particular objects only come to exist once consciousness differentiates the ontologically undifferentiated mass of beingin-itself.
Because the desire to be God is a pre-reflective ontological condition of consciousness, it can never be overcome once and for all. Consciousness is continually faced with the choice of whether to pre-reflectively affirm or negate its pre-reflective ontological desire to be God. For this reason, Sartre explains that ‘the authentic man cannot suppress the pursuit of being through conversion’ (NE: 37). Conversion simply brings consciousness to reflectively understand: 1) that it is ontologically nothing; and 2) the futility of its pre-reflective ontological desire to be God.
Instead, consciousness will affirm its freedom. This allows Sartre to distinguish between inauthentic modes of being where consciousness freely and reflectively chooses a mode of being which does not subsequently affirm its ontological freedom, and authentic modes of being where consciousness freely and reflectively chooses a mode of being that does subsequently affirm its ontological freedom. This distinction brings a critical aspect to Sartre’s analysis of consciousness’s modes of being. Secondly, Anderson criticizes Sartre because he reduces Sartre’s account of authenticity to whether consciousness reflectively understands that it is ontologically nothing.
Realizing Freedom: Hegel, Sartre, and the Alienation of Human Being by Gavin Rae (auth.)