Being and Nothingness: An Essay on Phenomenological Ontology

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Routledge, 1969 - Existentialism - 638 pages
137 Reviews
Being and Nothingness may well be thought of as Sartre's greatest work; it has also come to be regarded as a text-book of existentialism itself, and this is for many reasons a proper way to read it. These pages set out with relative perspicuity almost all of the salient ideas of existentialism; and, in addition, the method according to which the book is composed is itself highly characteristic of existentialist philosophers."
From the Introduction by Mary Warnock

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Review: Being and Nothingness

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Long winded, obscure, and honestly could have been written into ordinary language. As philosophers from the analytic have proven, you can express very 'profound' philosophical concepts, without ... Read full review

Review: Being and Nothingness

User Review  - Goodreads

Sartre is at his best when he is concrete, using startlingly clear examples from his life and his imagination. Unfortunately, you can read this book for hours without running into any such writing. This book, when it is good, is incredible. Read full review

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About the author (1969)

Sartre is the dominant figure in post-war French intellectual life. A graduate of the prestigious Ecole Normale Superieure with an agregation in philosophy, Sartre has been a major figure on the literary and philosophical scenes since the late 1930s. Widely known as an atheistic proponent of existentialism, he emphasized the priority of existence over preconceived essences and the importance of human freedom. In his first and best novel, Nausea (1938), Sartre contrasted the fluidity of human consciousness with the apparent solidity of external reality and satirized the hypocrisies and pretensions of bourgeois idealism. Sartre's theater is also highly ideological, emphasizing the importance of personal freedom and the commitment of the individual to social and political goals. His first play, The Flies (1943), was produced during the German occupation, despite its underlying message of defiance. One of his most popular plays is the one-act No Exit (1944), in which the traditional theological concept of hell is redefined in existentialist terms. In Red Gloves (Les Mains Sales) (1948), Sartre examines the pragmatic implications of the individual involved in political action through the mechanism of the Communist party and a changing historical situation. His highly readable autobiography, The Words (1964), tells of his childhood in an idealistic bourgeois Protestant family and of his subsequent rejection of his upbringing. Sartre has also made significant contributions to literary criticism in his 10-volume Situations (1947--72) and in works on Baudelaire, Genet, and Flaubert. In 1964 he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature and refused it, saying that he always declined official honors.

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