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Sartre's Critique of Dialectical Reason and the Inevitability of Violence: Human Freedom in the Milieu of Scarcity

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Abstract:

In his Critique of Dialectical Reason, Sartre argues that it is the milieu of scarcity that generates human conflict. His account of scarcity is rather ambiguous however, and at points he seems to claim that conflict is inevitable given the context of scarcity. In this article I provide a brief account of Sartre's position, and offer a critical evaluation of that position. Finally, I argue that Sartre's claims regarding the necessity of conflict are excessive, and that the resources provided in the Critique offer a means to re-evaluate our relationship to scarcity.

Keywords: CONFLICT; EXISTENTIALISM; FREEDOM; PHENOMENOLOGY; SARTRE; SCARCITY; VIOLENCE

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3167/ssi.2008.140204

Publication date: December 1, 2008

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