[SydPhil] MQ Philosophy Seminar on Tuesday the 13th of March in Blackshield Room: Robert Boncardo (Sydney)

Michael Olson michael.olson at mq.edu.au
Fri Mar 9 08:04:44 AEDT 2018

The Individual as Constitutive Power: Jean-Paul Sartre’s Critique of Dialectical Reason

Robert Boncardo (University of Sydney)

Date: Tuesday, 13th of March
Time: 13:00 - 14:00
Venue: Blackshield Room, W3A (6 First Walk) 501 *
All welcome

*Note the changing venues this semester

Abstract: Jean-Paul Sartre’s Critique of Dialectical Reason (1960) offers an original and compelling account of the relation between the individual and the collective. Yet despite Sartre’s fame and the Critique’s intrinsic interest, the social ontology presented therein has rarely been studied closely, let alone mobilised by contemporary scholars. In this paper, I will show how Sartre’s methodological individualism — his attempt to derive of all the basic forms of sociality from different modalities of individual action — allows him to retain the individual as the efficient cause, or constitutive power, of society, even in situations where the individual appears as the plaything of forces that infinitely surpass them. Certainly, for Sartre, there is no individual in abstraction from social forms — no individual whose action is not characterised by the different degrees of activity and passivity, or structured by the distinct modalities of rule-following, implied by the social forms they act within. Yet there is also no social form without an individual producing it through their praxis. For Sartre, praxis is a form of activity proper to individual organisms alone and not to any sort of hyperorganism or non-human entity. His aim in the Critique is thus to show that it is at once necessary and sufficient for understanding the constitution of collective life. In this talk, will attempt to defend Sartre’s project and show how it renders many concepts drawn on by both Liberal and Marxist thinkers to account for society either superfluous or misleading in their metaphoricity.

Contact: Adam Hochman (adam.hochman at mq.edu.au<mailto:adam.hochman at mq.edu.au>) or Mike Olson (michael.olson at mq.edu.au<mailto:michael.olson at mq.edu.au>)

A google calendar with details of other events in this series is available here<https://protect-au.mimecast.com/s/tFmjC2xZYvC6wEVpHnXKVs?domain=michael-olson.com>.


Dr Michael Olson
Lecturer, Modern European Philosophy

Department of Philosophy  |   2nd Floor, Australian Hearing Hub
Macquarie University, NSW 2109, Australia

T: +61 2 9850 6895<tel:%2B61%202%209850%206895>  |  arts.mq.edu.au<http://arts.mq.edu.au/>  |  www.michael-olson.com<https://protect-au.mimecast.com/s/dLf5C3Q8Z2FxQRXpTqeweC?domain=michael-olson.com>

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