Is Bad Faith Necessarily Social?
Author: Santoni, Ronald E.
Source: Sartre Studies International, Volume 14, Number 2, Winter 2008 , pp. 23-39(17)
Publisher: Berghahn Journals
Abstract:In a probing paper entitled "The Misplaced Chapter on Bad Faith, or Reading Being and Nothingness in Reverse," Matthew Eshleman challenges part of my intensive analysis of Sartre's "Bad Faith," arguing that bad faith is essentially a social phenomenon, and that social elements—the Other, in particular—play a "necessary role in making bad faith possible." Although I share many of Eshleman's interpretative points about the importance of the "social" in Sartre's account, I contend, here, with textual support, that Eshleman is too extreme, and slights the original bad faith to which human reality, in its very "upsurge" as consciousness or freedom, is "congenitally" (Spiegelberg) predisposed. My continued appeal to Sartre's concept of "initial," "fundamental," project, or "natural attitude" of consciousness to flee its freedom—what I have called ontological bad faith—becomes the crux of my critical counter-challenge to Eshleman's thesis.
Keywords: ONTOLOGICAL BAD FAITH; EPISTEMOLOGICAL BAD FAITH; SOCIAL; PRIMITIVE; ORIGINAL; FUNDAMENTAL PROJECT; NATURAL ATTITUDE; THE OTHER; SELF-OBJECTIFICATION; PARADOX OF FREEDOM; ESHLEMAN; REFLECTIVE VS. UNREFLECTIVE; REGRESSIVE CONCLUSION; CYNICAL
Document Type: Research article
Publication date: 2008-12-01
- Published in association with the UK Sartre Society Studies and the North American Sartre Society
Sartre Studies International publishes articles of a multidisciplinary, cross-cultural and international character reflecting the full range and complexity of Sartre's own work. It focuses on the philosophical, literary and political issues originating in existentialism, and explores the continuing vitality of existentialist and Sartrean ideas in contemporary society and contemporary culture. Each issue contains a reviews section and a notice board of current events, such as conferences, publications and media broadcasts linked to Sartre's life, work and intellectual legacy.
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