Ontology and Terminology in Sartre’s Being and Nothingness. Part I. Appearance and Semblance

Publication type Article
Status Published
Occupation: Chief Researcher
Affiliation: Russian State University for the Humanities, Department of Philosophy
Address: Russian Federation, Moscow
Journal nameVoprosy filosofii
EditionIssue 12

Sartre’s “phenomenological ontology” is considered in the aspect of the introducing and functioning of the main terms, through which his ambiguous concept is formed. Two main differences form two basic presuppositions of my research: the difference and interconnection of terms, concepts and problems, and the difference between analysis and interpretation.

In the first part of the article, these presuppositions are explicated, and the question is raised about the origin of the difference between the two main Sartre’s ontological structures: For-itself and In-itself. The question of the possibility of distinguishing consciousness, which is declared to be a synthetic structure, and non-consciousness, reveals one of the main difficulties of the phenomenology of consciousness. The article gives an interpretation of various ways of overcoming this difficulty. Sartre's attempts to overcome a number of the dualisms he singled out and replace them with a finite/infinite dualism are subjected to a critical analysis. These attempts remain within the framework of the positivistic paradigm and cannot be qualified as descriptive-phenomenological.

The analysis of the terms “phenomenon”, “appearance” and “semblance”, their difference in Heidegger and the convergence and even identification of their meanings in Sartre becomes the subject of detailed analysis. The analysis reveals sophistry in Sartre's reasoning: since the phenomenon, appearance and semblance have a common essential property – to manifest, or to reveal themselves, their meanings are close or identical. Critical analysis makes also evident a mixture of dualisms and differences; in particular, Sartre confuses the difference between the internal and external, which is constitutive for the human world, and the dualism of the revealed and the hidden.

Keywordsphenomenology, ontology, difference, analysis, interpretation, phenomenon, appearance, semblance, dualism, term, consciousness, sophism, Sartre, Husserl, Heidegger
AcknowledgmentThis Research is supported by Russian Foundation for Basic Research. Project № 17-03-00845, “The Problem of Intersubjectivity in Phenomenology and beyond it: Argumentation, Terms, and Descriptions”.
Publication date20.12.2018
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