The Existentialistic Subject Today

  • Simen Andersen ØyenEmail author
Part of the Analecta Husserliana book series (ANHU, volume 110)


This article examines the phenomena of intersubjectivity and freedom in Jean-Paul Sartre’s philosophy in the context of our individualistic consumer society. The idea of the situated individual’s responsibility introduces the problem or aporia of intersubjectivity. The early philosophy of Sartre must consequently be seen in relation to a problematized structure in which questions related to bad faith and an authentic life, freedom and anxiety and the aporetic aspects of the intersubjective dimension collaborate in forming an understanding of the historically, physically and socially situated subject. This is the foundation for an individualistic view of life where self-realisation derived from Sartre’s concept of freedom will be central. This has some clear parallels to today’s consumer society. The article then problematizes whether Sartre’s philosophy can be said to be a theoretical justification of processes of individualization or, alternately, whether aspects of this philosophy can have an emancipatory function in regard to the more deterministic aspects of the consumer society.


Intersubjectivity Jean-Paul Sartre Freedom responsibility Individuality Consumerism The look Aporia 


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The Centre for the Study of the Sciences and the Humanities, University of BergenBergenNorway

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