Analyzing Objectivistic Interpretation Of Sartrean Ethics

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Sushain Raina


This paper deals with the objectivistic interpretation of Sartrean ethics. The objectivistic interpretation is grounded in promotion of common freedom and fulfillment of common human needs emphasized by Sartre’s in his major works such as Existentialism Is a Humanism (2007, hereafter EH), Notebooks for an Ethics (1992, hereafter NE), Critique of Dialectical Reason (1960, hereafter CDR) and Rome Lectures (hereafter RL, 1964).

In EH, the promotion of common freedom is recognized through the interdependency of freedoms of human beings. Freedom that one chooses as the primary value is not only one’s own freedom but also the freedom of other individuals. Moreover, Sartre’s description of the city of ends in NE, where every individual treats other individual as an end enhance collective freedom of all individuals and thus reflects Sartre’s objectivistic moral view.

Similarly, Sartre’s objectivistic moral thought can also be recognized in CDR and RL. The central objective of Sartre’s socialistic and concrete ethics, as proposed in CDR and RL, is to attain human fulfillment. By human fulfillment Sartre means the satisfaction of common human needs. The concept of material needs is central to the objectivistic interpretation This paper attempts to develop an objectivistic interpretation of Sartrean ethics by analyzing Sartre’s views regarding human fulfillment, material needs, city of ends and enhancement of collective freedom in his above mentioned significant works.


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