Sartre Studies International 26 (2):40-50 (2020)

In this paper, I pay tribute to Jonathan Webber, one of the most dependable interpreters among recent Sartre scholars. I do so by challenging both him and Sartre on an issue that has long frustrated my work on Sartre. In short, Sartre contends that the For-itself’s desire to be Being-in-itself-for-itself is in bad faith. This raises two issues: Is this desire to be ens causa sui part of the ontological structure of the For-itself? If so, is bad faith an essential part of the human being? I contend that the desire to be the In-itself-for-itself is, on Sartre’s premises, part of the ontological structure of an existing human being. As our original flight from freedom and “fundamental project,” this constitutes bad faith’s “coming into the world,” and remains part of Being-for-itself’s “natural” disposition to bad faith.
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DOI 10.3167/ssi.2020.260204
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