Volume 9, Issue 2, 2006
The Internal Limits of the European Gaze
Intellectuals and the Colonial Difference
This paper approaches the importance of the colonial difference through a discussion of the debate between Sartre and Foucault on the proper role of the intellectual. The existentialist emphasis on the situation—and the concomitant imperative for intellectual totalization—would lead Sartre to a more sophisticated and radical understanding of his own situation as a European intellectual. This development was largely driven by Fanon, who would push Sartre’s understanding of the gaze toward recognizing the centrality of decolonization, and thereby of an alter-humanism which envisions itself as resolving the aporias of the European intellectual.