Kant and Sartre: Existentialism and Critical Philosophy

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

Abstract

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

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Ameriks, K. (2000[1982]) Kant’s Theory of Mind: An Analysis of the Paralogisms of Pure Reason. New edn. Oxford: Clarendon Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Aquila, R. (1983) Representational Mind: A Study of Kant’s Theory of Knowledge. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.Google Scholar
  3. Baiasu, S. (2003) “Sartre’s Search for an Ethics and Kant’s Moral Theory”, Sartre Studies International, 9(1): 21–53.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Baiasu, S. (2011) Kant and Sartre: Re-Discovering Critical Ethics. London: Palgrave Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bird, G. (2006) The Revolutionary Kant: A Commentary on the Critique of Pure Reason. Chicago, IL: Open Court.Google Scholar
  6. Darnell, M. (2005) Self in the Theoretical Writings of Sartre and Kant: A Revisionist Study. Lewiston: The Edwin Mellen Press.Google Scholar
  7. De Vleeschauwer, H.-J. (1962) The Development of Kantian Thought: The History of a Doctrine. Tr. A. R. C. Duncan. London: T. Nelson.Google Scholar
  8. Gardner, S. (2011) “The Transcendental Dimension of Sartre’s Philosophy”, in Reading Sartre. Ed. J. Webber. Abingdon; New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  9. Howells, C. (1988) Sartre: The Necessity of Freedom. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Kitcher, P. (1990) Kant’s Transcendental Psychology. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  11. Jopling, D. (1986) “Kant and Sartre on Self-Knowledge”, Man and World, 19(1): 79–93.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Leiberman, M. (1997) “The Limits of Comparison: Kant and Sartre on the Fundamental Project”, History of Philosophy Quarterly, 14(2): 207–17.Google Scholar
  13. Linsenbard, G. (2007) “Sartre’s Criticisms of Kant’s Moral Philosophy”, Sartre Studies International, 13(2): 65–85.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Painter, M. (1999) “The Profane Become Sacred: The Protestant Ethics of Kant and Sartre”, Southwest Philosophy Review, 15(1): 211–17.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Sweeney, K. (1985) “Lying to the Murderer: Sartre’s Use of Kant in ‘The Wall’”, Mosaic, 18(2): 1–16.Google Scholar

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

Personalised recommendations