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Sartre's 'Alternative' Conception of Phenomena in "Being and Nothingness"

Eric Tremault
Sartre Studies International
Vol. 15, No. 1 (2009), pp. 24-38
Published by: Berghahn Books
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/23511194
Page Count: 15
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Sartre's 'Alternative' Conception of Phenomena in "Being and Nothingness"
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Abstract

In Being and Nothingness, Sartre explains that being-in-itself is transphenomenal and becomes a phenomenon only through the process by which consciousness qualifies itself as its negation. Thus, there can be no phenomenon except as the object that consciousness (consciously) negates. This ontology of phenomena proves contradictory because one does not understand how consciousness can negate what does not appear to it, especially if it needs to do so as an existentialist freedom, which has to choose (in terms of phenomena) the end towards which it negates being. Sartre's theory of facticity as 'body' then comes as an alternative conception of phenomena, answering these problems by ultimately tending to present being-in-itself as a non-objective, hence non-conscious, phenomenon. Intentional consciousness thus becomes a transcendental condition for objectivity only and not for phenomenality in general.

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