Paths Not Taken: Sartre, Normativity, and Language
The Graduate School, Stony Brook University: Stony Brook, NY.
Sartreanism appears to have hit a number of dead-ends within the philosophical discourse of modernity. Utilizing the tools of Jurgen Habermas's rational reconstruction of the discourse of modernity, this thesis attempts to resuscitate the works of Jean-Paul Sartre to solve the a porias of his subject-centered philosophy. Truth and Existence , a work published between Being and Nothingness and Critique of Dialectical Reason, indicates a path towards a theory of the subject as being linguistically constituted. By placing these works within the philosophical discourse of modernity as envisioned by Habermas, this thesis exposes Sartre's commitment to the problems of modernity and exposes the places where Sartre could have resolved the a porias surrounding this discourse's search for normative structure. The linguistically constituted subject solves Sartre's lifelong pursuit of an ethics of freedom by positing consciousness as a linguistic entity in pursuit of non-pathological communication which commits itself to the non-distorted disclosure of being.