By Joseph S. Catalano
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Extra info for A Commentary on Jean-Paul Satre's Critique of Dialectical Reason
Thus , the present-day Manichaean believes that good i s , a s it were , dammed u p b y the force o f evil . One needs merely t o blow up the dam to be inundated by good . Society thus produces the criminal preci sely in order to eliminate him. ' The point of this digression is to d ispel a rather general misunderstanding of Sartre 's philosophy as individualistic , in the sense that " i ndividual " means " isolated . " There was always a " social " or interpersonal dimension to S artre 's thought, but his reflection on Hegel and his encounter with Marx made pos sible his distinction between the social and the historical .
I am, 37 Marx i s m and Existentialism Compared with Sartre's'eru:l ier works , the Critique adds the realization that historical phenomena, such as poverty, are sustained by human praxes . When the freedom of some limits the freedom of others by creating objective, seem ingly natural conditions that cannot be transcended , then thi s constricture causes inhumanity, rather than mere obstacles to overcome . In S artre 's study of Genet , these untranscendable situations created by human beings are local and somewhat elitist: Genet seems to have been well fed and to have had lei sure; he could not transcend his thiefhood , but he could seek salviltion in writ ing .
In this present v iew, a philosophy re flects and focuses the r igh ts and duties of a rising class . In a later work , S artre indicates that , in fortunate times-when the oppressed class i s also rising class with certain cultural advantages-the intel lectual is not alienated from the new philosophy that is being developed . In the "Golden Age " of bour geois humanism, thinkers like Montesquieu , Voltaire , D iderot, and Rousseau brought the tools of analytic reason against "the traditions , privileges , and myths of the aristocracy, long founded on an irrational syncretism .
A Commentary on Jean-Paul Satre's Critique of Dialectical Reason by Joseph S. Catalano