Cover image for Freedom as a value : a critique of the ethical theory of Jean-Paul Sartre
Title:
Freedom as a value : a critique of the ethical theory of Jean-Paul Sartre
Author:
Detmer, David, 1958-
Personal Author:
Physical Description:
ix, 262 pages ; 24 cm
General Note:
Includes index.
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780812690828

9780812690835
Format :
Book

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B2430.S34 D45 1986 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
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Summary

Summary

This dramatic re-evaluation of Sartre's ethical theory will establish its author as a leading American exponent of phenomenology and win many new followers for Sartre in the English-speaking world.


Reviews 2

Choice Review

Writing in a clear, straightforward style, Detmer does an excellent job in drawing out the ethical implications of Sartre's claim that freedom is the "highest" value. A lengthy explanation of Sartre's senses of freedom in Being and Nothingness precedes an account of the concept of value that is framed in terms of Sartre's advocacy of "ethical subjectivism." Detmer criticizes Sartre's subjectivism, and argues that Sartre's ethic is "a dialectic of discovery and invention, or intuition and volition." He makes a convincing case that Sartre has much to contribute to contemporary discussions of ethical theory; moreover, Detmer addresses the concerns of both mainstream ethical inquiry and Continental philosophy. Meticulously documented, the book is accessible to readers at all levels. It compares favorably with other works on Sartre's ethics: T.C. Anderson, The Foundation and Structure of Sartrean of Sartrean Ethics (CH, Feb '80), H. Barnes, An Existentialist Ethics (CH, Nov '67), and F. Jeanson, Sartre and the Problem of Morality (CH, Oct '81). Recommended highly for all academic libraries and large public libraries. -A. D. Schrift, Grinnell College


Choice Review

Writing in a clear, straightforward style, Detmer does an excellent job in drawing out the ethical implications of Sartre's claim that freedom is the "highest" value. A lengthy explanation of Sartre's senses of freedom in Being and Nothingness precedes an account of the concept of value that is framed in terms of Sartre's advocacy of "ethical subjectivism." Detmer criticizes Sartre's subjectivism, and argues that Sartre's ethic is "a dialectic of discovery and invention, or intuition and volition." He makes a convincing case that Sartre has much to contribute to contemporary discussions of ethical theory; moreover, Detmer addresses the concerns of both mainstream ethical inquiry and Continental philosophy. Meticulously documented, the book is accessible to readers at all levels. It compares favorably with other works on Sartre's ethics: T.C. Anderson, The Foundation and Structure of Sartrean of Sartrean Ethics (CH, Feb '80), H. Barnes, An Existentialist Ethics (CH, Nov '67), and F. Jeanson, Sartre and the Problem of Morality (CH, Oct '81). Recommended highly for all academic libraries and large public libraries. -A. D. Schrift, Grinnell College


Table of Contents

Acknowledgementsp. v
Introductionp. 1
Chapter 1 Freedomp. 5
1.1 Introductionp. 5
1.2 Sartre's Arguments for Freedomp. 6
1.2.1 The First Argument: Consciousness is Not What it Isp. 6
1.2.1.1 The Rejection of the Phenomenological Reductionp. 9
1.2.1.2 The Transcendence of the Egop. 16
1.2.1.3 Acts, Roles, Psychic States, and Emotionsp. 22
1.2.2 The Second Argument: Consciousness Is What it is Notp. 25
1.2.2.1 Imaginationp. 26
1.2.2.2 Doubtp. 27
1.2.2.3 Destructionp. 27
1.2.2.4 Interrogationp. 28
1.2.2.5 Perceptionp. 29
1.2.2.6 The Experience of Absencep. 31
1.3 The Nature of Freedomp. 35
1.3.1 The Omnipotence Objectionp. 36
1.3.1.1 Limitations to Freedomp. 39
1.3.1.1.1 Facticityp. 40
1.3.1.1.2 Coefficient of Adversityp. 43
1.3.1.1.3 Situationp. 46
1.3.1.1.4 Human Conditionp. 49
1.3.1.1.5 Practico-Inertp. 50
1.3.1.1.6 Counter-Finalityp. 52
1.3.1.1.7 My Relations With Othersp. 54
1.3.1.2 The Omnipotence Objection Answeredp. 55
1.3.2 The Inconsistency Objectionp. 56
1.3.2.1 Different Senses of Freedomp. 57
1.3.2.1.1 Does Sartre Recognize a Need to Distinguish Between Different Senses of Freedom?p. 58
1.3.2.1.2 Does Sartre in Fact Distinguish Between Different Senses of Freedom?p. 59
1.3.2.1.3 Are Sartre's Distinctions Between Different Senses of Freedom Relevant?p. 60
1.3.2.1.4 Ontological Freedom and Practical Freedomp. 62
1.3.2.1.5 An Objection to Sartre's Ontological Freedomp. 69
1.3.2.1.6 Some Difficulties with Sartre's Practical Freedomp. 70
1.3.2.2 The Inconsistency Objection Answeredp. 76
1.3.2.2.1 Desanp. 80
1.3.2.2.2 Merleau-Pontyp. 85
1.3.3 The Radical Break Objectionp. 93
1.3.3.1 Sartre's Testimonyp. 93
1.3.3.2 Errors of the Radical Break Theoristsp. 96
1.3.3.3 Radical Conversionp. 102
1.3.3.4 The Radical Break Objection Answeredp. 131
1.4 Conclusionp. 131
Chapter 2 Valuesp. 133
2.1 Introductionp. 133
2.2 The Subjectivity of Values and the Subjectivity of Value-Judgmentsp. 135
2.2.1 The Compatibility of the Subjectivity of Values and the Objectivity of Value-Judgmentsp. 137
2.3 Sartre's Arguments for Ethical Subjectivismp. 144
2.3.1 The Experience of Values as "Lacks"p. 144
2.3.1.1 Criticism of the Argument from the Experience of Values as "Lacks"p. 146
2.3.2 The Distinction Between Facts and Valuesp. 148
2.3.2.1 Criticism of the Argument from the Distinction Between Facts and Valuesp. 149
2.3.3 The Hierarchy of Projectsp. 150
2.3.3.1 Criticism of the Argument from the Hierarchy of Projectsp. 152
2.3.4 The Nonexistence of Godp. 153
2.3.4.1 Criticism of the Argument from the Nonexistence of Godp. 154
2.3.5 Irresolvable Moral Dilemmasp. 155
2.3.5.1 Criticism of the Argument from Irresolvable Moral Dilemmasp. 160
2.4 General Criticisms of Sartre's Ethical Subjectivismp. 163
2.4.1 The Moral Equivalence of All Free Actionsp. 164
2.4.2 The Authentic Torturer Problemp. 165
2.4.3 The Groundlessness of the Value of Authenticityp. 166
2.4.4 The Absurdity of Total Subjectivismp. 167
2.4.5 The Coefficient of Adversity in Our Value Experiencep. 168
2.4.6 Responsibilityp. 169
2.4.7 Anguishp. 173
2.4.8 Repentancep. 174
2.5 Conclusionp. 176
Chapter 3 Freedom as a Valuep. 177
3.1 Introductionp. 177
3.2 Sartre's Ethical Objectivismp. 178
3.2.1 Freedom and Needsp. 181
3.3 The Problem of Justificationp. 186
3.3.1 Intuitionp. 186
3.3.1.1 What Does Sartre Mean by "Intuition"?p. 187
3.3.1.2 Are Sartre's Claims About Intuition True?p. 187
3.3.1.3 Can Intuition Give Us Ethical Knowledge?p. 196
3.4 Subjectivism and Objectivism in Sartrep. 203
3.5 Sartre's Contribution to Ethicsp. 207
Notesp. 217
Bibliographyp. 245
Indexp. 257
Acknowledgementsp. v
Introductionp. 1
Chapter 1 Freedomp. 5
1.1 Introductionp. 5
1.2 Sartre's Arguments for Freedomp. 6
1.2.1 The First Argument: Consciousness is Not What it Isp. 6
1.2.1.1 The Rejection of the Phenomenological Reductionp. 9
1.2.1.2 The Transcendence of the Egop. 16
1.2.1.3 Acts, Roles, Psychic States, and Emotionsp. 22
1.2.2 The Second Argument: Consciousness Is What it is Notp. 25
1.2.2.1 Imaginationp. 26
1.2.2.2 Doubtp. 27
1.2.2.3 Destructionp. 27
1.2.2.4 Interrogationp. 28
1.2.2.5 Perceptionp. 29
1.2.2.6 The Experience of Absencep. 31
1.3 The Nature of Freedomp. 35
1.3.1 The Omnipotence Objectionp. 36
1.3.1.1 Limitations to Freedomp. 39
1.3.1.1.1 Facticityp. 40
1.3.1.1.2 Coefficient of Adversityp. 43
1.3.1.1.3 Situationp. 46
1.3.1.1.4 Human Conditionp. 49
1.3.1.1.5 Practico-Inertp. 50
1.3.1.1.6 Counter-Finalityp. 52
1.3.1.1.7 My Relations With Othersp. 54
1.3.1.2 The Omnipotence Objection Answeredp. 55
1.3.2 The Inconsistency Objectionp. 56
1.3.2.1 Different Senses of Freedomp. 57
1.3.2.1.1 Does Sartre Recognize a Need to Distinguish Between Different Senses of Freedom?p. 58
1.3.2.1.2 Does Sartre in Fact Distinguish Between Different Senses of Freedom?p. 59
1.3.2.1.3 Are Sartre's Distinctions Between Different Senses of Freedom Relevant?p. 60
1.3.2.1.4 Ontological Freedom and Practical Freedomp. 62
1.3.2.1.5 An Objection to Sartre's Ontological Freedomp. 69
1.3.2.1.6 Some Difficulties with Sartre's Practical Freedomp. 70
1.3.2.2 The Inconsistency Objection Answeredp. 76
1.3.2.2.1 Desanp. 80
1.3.2.2.2 Merleau-Pontyp. 85
1.3.3 The Radical Break Objectionp. 93
1.3.3.1 Sartre's Testimonyp. 93
1.3.3.2 Errors of the Radical Break Theoristsp. 96
1.3.3.3 Radical Conversionp. 102
1.3.3.4 The Radical Break Objection Answeredp. 131
1.4 Conclusionp. 131
Chapter 2 Valuesp. 133
2.1 Introductionp. 133
2.2 The Subjectivity of Values and the Subjectivity of Value-Judgmentsp. 135
2.2.1 The Compatibility of the Subjectivity of Values and the Objectivity of Value-Judgmentsp. 137
2.3 Sartre's Arguments for Ethical Subjectivismp. 144
2.3.1 The Experience of Values as "Lacks"p. 144
2.3.1.1 Criticism of the Argument from the Experience of Values as "Lacks"p. 146
2.3.2 The Distinction Between Facts and Valuesp. 148
2.3.2.1 Criticism of the Argument from the Distinction Between Facts and Valuesp. 149
2.3.3 The Hierarchy of Projectsp. 150
2.3.3.1 Criticism of the Argument from the Hierarchy of Projectsp. 152
2.3.4 The Nonexistence of Godp. 153
2.3.4.1 Criticism of the Argument from the Nonexistence of Godp. 154
2.3.5 Irresolvable Moral Dilemmasp. 155
2.3.5.1 Criticism of the Argument from Irresolvable Moral Dilemmasp. 160
2.4 General Criticisms of Sartre's Ethical Subjectivismp. 163
2.4.1 The Moral Equivalence of All Free Actionsp. 164
2.4.2 The Authentic Torturer Problemp. 165
2.4.3 The Groundlessness of the Value of Authenticityp. 166
2.4.4 The Absurdity of Total Subjectivismp. 167
2.4.5 The Coefficient of Adversity in Our Value Experiencep. 168
2.4.6 Responsibilityp. 169
2.4.7 Anguishp. 173
2.4.8 Repentancep. 174
2.5 Conclusionp. 176
Chapter 3 Freedom as a Valuep. 177
3.1 Introductionp. 177
3.2 Sartre's Ethical Objectivismp. 178
3.2.1 Freedom and Needsp. 181
3.3 The Problem of Justificationp. 186
3.3.1 Intuitionp. 186
3.3.1.1 What Does Sartre Mean by "Intuition"?p. 187
3.3.1.2 Are Sartre's Claims About Intuition True?p. 187
3.3.1.3 Can Intuition Give Us Ethical Knowledge?p. 196
3.4 Subjectivism and Objectivism in Sartrep. 203
3.5 Sartre's Contribution to Ethicsp. 207
Notesp. 217
Bibliographyp. 245
Indexp. 257