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Jean-Paul Sartre (1905–1980) was one of the most influential thinkers of the twentieth century. Regarded as the father of existentialist philosophy, he was also a political critic, moralist, playwright, novelist, and author of biographies and short stories. Thomas R. Flynn provides the first book-length account of Sartre as a philosopher of the imaginary, mapping the intellectual development of his ideas throughout his life, and building a narrative that is not only philosophical but also attentive to the political and literary dimensions of his work. Exploring Sartre's existentialism, politics, ethics, and ontology, this book illuminates the defining ideas of Sartre's oeuvre: the literary and the philosophical, the imaginary and the conceptual, his descriptive phenomenology and his phenomenological concept of intentionality, and his conjunction of ethics and politics with an 'egoless' consciousness. It will appeal to all who are interested in Sartre's philosophy and its relation to his life.Read more
- The first book-length study of Sartre as philosopher of the imaginary, offering new insights into the philosophical, literary, aesthetic and political thought of one of the most renowned thinkers of the twentieth century
- Treats Sartre's major works in relation to the evolution of his thought
- Pays special attention to Sartre's ethical theory in relation to both his philosophical and literary works
Reviews & endorsements
"No English-speaking philosopher has read [Sartre's] vast corpus with greater industry than Mr Flynn. His new biography scrutinises the works chronologically from start to finish. It includes Sartre's fiction and plays as well as the political or critical essays. Mr Flynn has done Sartrean initiates a large service."
The EconomistSee more reviews
"This exploration of Sartre's thought in the context of his life is both extensive and comprehensive: a major contribution to Sartre studies."
Thomas Busch, Villanova University, Pennsylvania
"In its range - it encompasses the totality of Sartre's entire non-fictional career, including the posthumously published works - Flynn's study is a tour de force."
Sarah Richmond, The Times Literary Supplement
"Flynn's study effectively reclaims the Sartrean legacy for this century and reminds us of the importance of the imagination in the toolkit of a revolutionary."
Sean Ledwith, Marx and Philosophy Review of Books
‘His book belongs in the collection of any college or university with a philosophy program, and on the shelf (and in the hands) of any serious student of Sartre or twentieth-century philosophy.’
Lance Byron Richey, American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly
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- Date Published: December 2014
- format: Hardback
- isbn: 9780521826402
- length: 448 pages
- dimensions: 235 x 165 x 31 mm
- weight: 0.88kg
- availability: In stock
Table of Contents
1. The childhood of a genius
2. An elite education: student, author, soldier, teacher
3. Teaching in the Lycée, 1931–1939
4. First triumph: The Imagination
5. Consciousness as imagination
6. The necessity of contingency: Nausea
7. The war years, 1939–1944
8. Bad faith in human life: Being and Nothingness
9. Existentialism: the fruit of liberation
10. Ends and means: existential ethics
11. Means and ends: political existentialism
12. A theory of history: Search for a Method
13. Individuals and groups: Critique of Dialectical Reason
14. A second ethics?
15. Existential biography: Flaubert and others
Conclusion: the Sartrean imaginary, chastened but indomitable.
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