Volume 15, Issue 1, Spring/Printemps 2011
Thomas W. Busch
Sartre’s Hyperbolic Ontology
Being and Nothingness Revisited
Late in his career, Sartre told us that “subjectivity (in Being and Nothingness) is not what it is for me now,” but I do not think that this should be understood as simple rejection. Rather, I think that his notion of the “spiral” best expresses his meaning. The development of his thought progressed through levels of integrating new experience with the past and, in the process, refigured the past. Sartre was, all along, a philosopher protective of subjectivity and freedom, but these notions
underwent transformation over time, preserved and modified in their surpassing. Sartre’s philosophical itinerary follows the model of the spiral, and in that way, he is his own best commentator.