Consciousness, Emotion and the Problem of the Other

Dissertation, Purdue University (1991)
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Abstract

This work examines the theory of emotion set forth by Jean Paul Sartre in his work The Emotions. In that work Sartre claims to have discovered the essence of the phenomena of emotions. Our examination reveals that this theory contains an account of emotions that arise between consciousness and things. The examination then turns to Being and Nothingness where the phenomenon of Others is analyzed. It is argued that there are essential differences between Others and things. These differences are used to show that Sartre's theory of emotions does not contain an account of emotions that arise between consciousness and Others, and that it has therefore failed in its attempt to capture the essence of emotions. Our conclusions suggest that Sartre failed to see in emotions evidence of the freedom intrinsic to all modes of consciousness. Our examination calls for a rethinking of Sartre's theory of emotion in light of the notions of freedom and Others around which his later thought revolves

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