André Gorz and the Sartrean Legacy: Arguments for a by Finn Bowring

By Finn Bowring

A entire and scholarly exploration of the non-public and philosophical origins of André Gorz's paintings, this e-book contains a detailed research of his early untranslated texts, in addition to severe dialogue of his courting to the paintings of Husserl, Sartre, Merleau-Ponty, Marx and Habermas. Reassessing pivotal notions comparable to the 'lifeworld' and the 'subject', it argues that Gorz has pioneered a person-centred social idea within which the purpose and which means of social critique is firmly rooted in people's lived event.

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Extra resources for André Gorz and the Sartrean Legacy: Arguments for a Person-Centred Social Theory

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In so far as I have hands, feet, a body’, for example, ‘I sustain around me intentions which are not dependent on my decisions and which affect my surroundings in a way which I do not choose’ (1962: 452, 440). The body is thus simultaneously an aid and an obstacle to the individual’s autonomy, lending it a momentum and robustness which equally militates against deviation, capriciousness, or elective conversion to a new choice. The symptoms of a girl who, in conflict with her mother’s sexual prohibitions, has ceased to speak, to take another example, is understood by Merleau-Ponty as neither a simple expression of repressed drives nor the product of wilful voluntarism.

Uncreated, without reason for being, without any connection with another being’, a ‘full positivity’ filled wholly with itself (1956: lxvi), this being is identical with what it is – a description Sartre concedes is already inaccurate since it implies an internal relationship of coincidence or identity which, in reality, it does not have. This being simply ‘is’, Sartre says, and he refers to it as ‘being-in-itself’. And just as consciousness apprehends its freedom in anguish, so it grasps the contingency and superfluity of being-in-itself with a feeling of ‘nausea’.

This ‘abdication of the for-itself before the plenitude of the in-itself’ happens ‘as if the for-itself were tired of being its own nothingness and let itself go to the vertigo of immanence’ (FM: 161). This is the ‘delicious weariness’ we may feel when sinking into a hot bath or comfortable bed after physical exertion, lovemaking, or a tiring day, and when, nostalgic for the blissful sleep of infancy, we feel the world closing up and enveloping us in a sweet and protective shell. We find it symbolised, Gorz writes, in the simple life of ruminants, by reptiles basking in the sun or cats curled up in a ball.

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