Ontology and Ethics in Sartre's Early Philosophy

Ontology and Ethics in Sartre's Early Philosophy

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At the end of Being and Nothingness Sartre made the curious claim that his ethical views follow from his ontology and are based on it. Yiwei Zheng argues that there are unbridgeable gaps between Sartre's ontology and ethics that cannot be filled in, and in the process provides a careful study of some notoriously murky notions in Sartre's early philosophy.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 172 pages
  • 154.9 x 231.1 x 15.2mm | 408.24g
  • Lexington Books
  • Lanham, MD, United States
  • English
  • 0739111175
  • 9780739111178

Review quote

Zheng's work brings fresh insights and critical perspectives to bear on the question of the relation between Sartre's early ethics and ontology. The clarity and precision of his analysis and textual exegesis is impressive. His book calls into question much of what has passed as received wisdom in Sartrean studies on many of these issues and is bound to stimulate argument and raise our consideration of Sartre's early ethics to a new level of sophistication. -- Steven Hendley, Executive Editor, Sartre Studies International Yiwei Zheng convincingly argues that Sartre's ethical views do not follow from his ontology, contrary to Sartre's own claim. Zheng clearly and carefully guides the reader through difficult texts covering such central Sartrean notions as consciousness, intentionality, and authenticity, arguing that Sartre's theory of authenticity does not follow from the ontology developed in Being and Nothingness. This is an important and sophisticated work that should be read by any Sartre scholar, as well as anyone interested in philosophy of mind, metaphysics, and ethics. -- Rocco J. Gennaro, Indiana State University Zheng's provocative critique of Sartre's early philosophy helps us to understand why Sartre, though a passionately committed moralist, was unable to work out a systematic ethical theory in support of his moral judgments. Zheng's analyses shed new light on some of the murkier aspects of Being and Nothingness, clarify Sartre's relationship to Husserl's phenomenology, and call into question the interpretations of earlier Sartre scholars. -- David Detmer, Calumet/Purdue
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About Yiwei Zheng

Yiwei Zheng is Associate Professor of Philosophy at St. Cloud State University and President of Association of Chinese Philosophers in North America.
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Table of contents

Chapter 1 Basic Terminologies Chapter 2 Sartre versus Husserl: A Study of the Doctrine of Intentionality Chapter 3 Freedom in Sartre's Being and Nothingness Chapter 4 Bad Faith in Sartre's Being and Nothingness Chapter 5 Pure Reflection in Sartre's Being and Nothingness Chapter 6 Authenticity I: Do We Abandon ... in Authenticity Chapter 7 Authenticity II: Reconstructing the Childish Heart Chapter 8 Conclusion: The Relation Between Sartre's Ontology and Ethics
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