Husserl and Sartre: From Phenomenology to Integral Humanism

  • P. Marquez Vergara
Part of the Analecta Husserliana book series (ANHU, volume 29)


Sartre’s phenomenological formation is indisputable. Husserl’s thought was introduced in France about 1930 by Gurvitch, Elbert, Koyré, and above all by Lévinas. In 1929, Husserl had given at the Sorbonne that first kind of elaboration of Cartesianischen meditationen that is known as his “Parisian Speeches.” Sartre did not feel much enthusiasm for the doctrine professed by Husserl although he attended the Husserlian lessons. If we believe Simone de Beauvoir’s testimony, Raymond Arón was the one who introduced him to phenomenology in fact.1 Arón, who was a scholar at the French Institute in Berlin, was collecting the material he would use for his thesis “La philosophie critique de l’histoire” and at the same time he was studying the thought of Husserl and Heidegger. On returning to Paris, he was talking one night with Sartre emphasizing, among other things, the originality of the phenomenological position on the problem of the relation between consciousness and the world and the Husserlian school’s proposal of how to study real objects and our perception of them. The impression made on Sartre was truly deep, to the point of moving him to buy Lévinas’ book Théorie de l’intuition dans la phénomenologie de Husserl. He was so eager to learn that “even as he was walking he leafed through the book without having cut the pages.”2 Based on these conversations Sartre decided to ask for a grant to go to Germany. Once he got it he would spend 1933 and part of 1934 in Berlin and Freiburg where Husserl was teaching (it is doubtful that Sartre could follow the lessons though).3 At the expense of hard work Sartre came to appropriate of the key concepts of the phenomenological doctrine.


Phenomenological Method Human Reality Intentionality Theme Psychic Phenomenon Phenomenological Psychology 
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© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1990

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  • P. Marquez Vergara

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