Posts Tagged ‘Consciousness’

Sartre on Hegel and Social Consciousness

Monday, December 2nd, 2013

There is in Hegel a fundamental form of optimism. It may be called an ontological optimism. For Hegel indeed truth is truth of the Whole. And he places himself at the vantage point of truth – i.e. of the Whole – to consider the problem of the Other….individual consciousnesses are moments in the whole, moments which by themselves are unselbständig (dependent), and the whole is a mediator between consciousnesses. Hence is derived an ontological optimism parallel to the epistemological optimism: plurality can and must be surpassed towards the totality (BN p.243).

[But] no logical or epistemological optimism can cover the scandal of the plurality of consciousnesses. If Hegel believed that it could, this is because he never grasped the nature of that particular dimension of being which is self-consciousness….so long as consciousnesses exist, the separation and conflict of consciousnesses will remain;…(BN p.244)

István Mészáros, The Work of Sratre – Search For Freedom and The Challenge of History (1979)

Consciousness as Desire

Thursday, November 28th, 2013

Being is choosing a manner of being against the background of an absolute contingency of being-there. So desire does not arrive in the consciousness as heat arrives to a piece of iron that I put near a flame.

Consciousness chooses itself as a desire.

Of course to do this it must have a motive: I do not desire anyone whomever at any time whatever.
A motive is something that is created out of the past and that consciousness confers weight and value on it by returning to it.

JP Sartre, ‘What is Desire?’ in ‘Being and Nothingness’ (1943) pp.382-407