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Lecture

PHIL 375 - Lecture: Sartre (Consciousness; For-Itself; Relation with Others)

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Department
Philosophy
Course
PHIL 375
Professor
Susan Judith Hoffmann
Semester
Fall

Description
Non-positional consciousness is non-cognitive consciousness. Consciousness of object has a non-divisible unity with non-positional consciousness. The pre-reflective I thinks an object with a non-positional/non-cognitive consciousness of that object. Positional/thetic consciousness is consciousness that posits an object other than itself. Reflective consciousness is a form of consciousness that posits consciousness as an object of consciousness. It posits itself as its own object. It posits itself as its own object. Being with itself is brute indefinite reality. We imbue it with meaning, give it value. It's just inert mass, but we give it value by our projects and how we attempt to attain our projects. Bad faith is something we need to avoid, because it is a lie and error. It has a goal of somehow fixing our essence, fixing our nature. It is a natural and futile project when we take it as a project that is written in things, as opposed to a completely free and contingent project. What would an authentic person look like? A person who recognizes the true structure of existence. Someone who understands that human existence does not have a true or fixed nature, would not fall into bad faith. How can we speak of value when there is no value in reality or being-in-itself? The authentic person recognizes the true structure of the for-itself, of existence. She is the person most aware of the project of bad faith. Facticity with the for-itself Refers to the fact that your attitude, emotion, state of being are not identical, yet you are your state of being, your emotion, feeling, etc. You are angry, but your anger and your consciousness are not identical. But your consciousness is somehow supporting and bringing into being the anger. It is you, but it is also not identical with your consciousness. The for-itself is but it also is not. What Descartes is grasping in the cogito, the first thing, is that he is grasping his own contingency, that he is unjustifiable fact. Earlier, Sartre had described consciousness as a being that brings itself into being, is not caused by anything else, and is completely contingent. Since the for-itself is not identical with its own being, but how, Sartre asks, can it be a foundation for its own nothingness? Draws on Descartes: foundation of its own nothingness because it cannot doubt that it is. The for-itself constantly tries to remove its contingency. It constrantly tries to become something, to become a being in itself. But the for-itself cannot become an in-itself. That is its nature. It tries to remove contingency from its being. But it's always frustrated. In trying to become an in-itself, it nihilates the in-itself, it posits the in-itself and the for-itself, while the in-itself disappears. The in-itself can only exist in a consciousness. Consciousness is this positing activity. IN positing, I posit a self as perceiving an object; the in-itself of the object is annihilated. The object is ontologically dependent on I, on the for-itself, for being. The in-itself cannot ground its own existence, it can only be for another. Relations with others Other human beings are objects of consciousness. It's essence must be to refer to a primary relation between my consciousness an
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