Kant and Sartre: Existentialism and Critical Philosophy

  • Jonathan Head
  • Anna Tomaszewska
  • Jochen Bojanowski
  • Alberto Vanzo
  • Sorin Baiasu


Kant and Sartre are two of the most significant figures in modern philosophy, and yet there has, until very recently, been little comparative research undertaken on them. Despite dealing with many shared philosophical issues, they have traditionally been taken to be too opposed to each other to render any search for possible parallels between their works a useful enterprise. Indeed, Sartre is often taken to be one of Kant’s most vocal critics in the literature, and as rather indebted to other major figures, such as Husserl and Heidegger. As a consequence, often, where comparative analysis has been done upon Kant and Sartre, the emphasis has been on their differences, rather than on their similarities. However, as recent research has begun to show, the story is not that straightforward and there is much to be explored with regard to parallels between Kant and Sartre. Baiasu (2003) has characterized Sartre’s relation to Kant as one of an “anxiety of influence” — Sartre desires to explicitly distance himself from Kant, but this obscures some deeper underlying parallels between them.1 Such parallels can form a foundation for productive dialogue, more widely, between the schools of Kantian “Critical philosophy” and existentialism.2


Critical Philosophy Transcendental Idealism Reflective Consciousness Animal Consciousness Radical Evil 
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Copyright information

© Jonathan Head, Anna Tomaszewska, Jochen Bojanowski, Alberto Vanzo and Sorin Baiasu 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jonathan Head
  • Anna Tomaszewska
  • Jochen Bojanowski
  • Alberto Vanzo
  • Sorin Baiasu

There are no affiliations available

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