Volume 5, Issue Part 1, 2010
Selected Essays from North America Part 1
Matthew C. Eshleman
The Misplaced Chapter on Bad Faith or Reading Being and Nothingness in Reverse
This essay argues that Sartre’s notion of bad faith cannot be adequately understood, unless one takes the latter half of Being and Nothingness into serious consideration. Sartre employs a Cartesian methodology; consequently, his analysis proceeds from abstract simples to complex, concrete wholes. As his analysis becomes progressively concrete, Sartre revises two abstract claims made early in the text. Only after one appreciates that Sartre, strictly speaking, abandons a non-egological view of consciousness and an absolute view of freedom can one make sense out of several especially vexing features of bad faith.