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Kant and Sartre: Existentialism and Critical Philosophy

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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

Keywords

  • Critical Philosophy
  • Transcendental Idealism
  • Reflective Consciousness
  • Animal Consciousness
  • Radical Evil

These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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

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Head, J., Tomaszewska, A., Bojanowski, J., Vanzo, A., Baiasu, S. (2016). Kant and Sartre: Existentialism and Critical Philosophy. In: Baiasu, S. (eds) Comparing Kant and Sartre. Palgrave Macmillan, London. https://doi.org/10.1057/9781137454539_1

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