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Authenticity and Others: Sartre's Ethics of Recognition

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Abstract:

This article presents a novel defense of Sartrean ethics based on the concept of interpersonal recognition. The immediate post-war texts Anti-Semite and Jew, What is Literature? and Notebooks for an Ethics express Sartre's inchoate yet ultimately defensible view of obligations to others. Such obligations are not best understood as Kantian duties, but rather as Hegelian obligations of mutual recognition. The emerging portrait of Sartrean ethics offers a strong reply to the classical criticism that authenticity would license vicious lifestyles like serial killing. In addition to acting with clarity and responsibility, existentially authentic individuals must respect others.

Keywords: AUTHENTICITY; EXISTENTIALISM; RECOGNITION; RESPECT; SARTRE

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3167/135715506780451886

Publication date: December 1, 2006

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