Responsibility and freedom: the foundations of Sartre's concept of intellectual engagement
Author: Sapiro, Gisèle
Source: Journal of Romance Studies, Volume 6, Numbers 1-2, Spring & Summer 2006 , pp. 31-48(18)
Publisher: Berghahn Journals
Abstract:Sartre's concept of responsibility is closely linked to his philosophy of freedom. It is the basis for a practical morality: that of engagement, and has a specific application for his theory of the responsibility of the writer and hence of politically committed literature. This article analyses this concept of responsibility and its sources, both intellectual and biographical, from a sociohistorical point of view, which sheds a new light on the Sartrean theory of the engagement of the intellectual. Using Paul Fauconnet's distinction, it first examines the tension between objective and subjective responsibility in L'Être et le néant. It then shows how the experience of war and the purge trials after the Liberation contributed to its elaboration and its embodiment in Sartre's theory of committed literature.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: March 1, 2006
- Journal of Romance Studies promotes innovative critical work in the areas of linguistics, literature, performing and visual arts, media, material culture, intellectual and cultural history, critical and cultural theory, psychoanalysis, gender studies, social sciences, and anthropology. The primary focus is on those parts of the world that speak, or have spoken, French, Italian, Spanish or Portuguese, but work on other cultures may be included. Issues cross national and disciplinary boundaries in order to stimulate new ways of thinking about cultural history and practice.
Published in Association with the Institute of Germanic & Romance Studies, School of Advanced Study, University of London.
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