Aquinas and Sartre: On Freedom, Personal Identity, and the by Stephen Wang

By Stephen Wang

Thomas Aquinas and Jean-Paul Sartre tend to be pointed out with totally different philosophical traditions: intellectualism and voluntarism. during this unique research, Stephen Wang exhibits, as an alternative, that there are a few profound similarities of their knowing of freedom and human identification. Aquinas offers way more scope than is usually said to the open-endedness of cause in human deliberation, and argues that we will be able to rework ourselves in rather radical methods via our offerings. Sartre famously emphasizes the unconventional nature of selection, but in addition develops a refined account of rationality and of the authentic limits we come upon on the earth and in ourselves. And in either thinkers the center of human freedom lies in our skill to settle on the targets we're looking, as we look for an elusive fulfilment that lies past the confines of our temporal experience.

This vital examine will curiosity Aquinas and Sartre students, in addition to basic readers looking an advent to their inspiration. it is going to even be helpful for philosophers looking clean views on questions of freedom, happiness, own identification, act thought, meta-ethics, and theories of the self.

ABOUT the writer:

Stephen Wang lectures in philosophy and systematic theology at Allen corridor, London, and is traveling lecturer in ethical philosophy at St Mary's college university, Twickenham.

PRAISE FOR THE publication:

"This provocative ebook juxtaposes philosophers regularly linked to appreciably diverse views. . . . The book's energy lies in its transparent and nuanced clarification of hugely advanced principles, demonstrating much more care by way of offering unique language citations for key words. . . . total, this essentially written research bargains vital insights into political anthropology, motion conception, existentialism, and Thomistic studies." ― A. W. Klink, Choice

"Wang articulates with amazing readability, precision, and subtlety the typical positive aspects of Aquinas' and Sartre's debts of the which means of human lifestyles, the method of human realizing, freedom, and the pursuit of happiness." ― Severin Kitanov, Religious reports Review


"This provocative e-book juxtaposes philosophers regularly linked to considerably assorted views. Wang reveals parts of similarity and convergence among Aquinas and Sartre of their specialise in id and motion concept. The book's energy lies in its transparent and nuanced explication of hugely complicated principles, demonstrating much more care via supplying unique language citations for keywords. . . . total, this in actual fact written research bargains very important insights into philosophical anthropology, motion conception, existentialism, and Thomistic reviews. . . . Recommended." ― A. W. Klink, Duke University

"[A] well-written volume." ―Eileen C. Sweeney, Journal of the background of Philosophy

"A great and unique piece of labor. lower than Wang's probing exam Aquinas and Sartre end up perfect commentators on every one other's paintings. infrequently have I obvious this kind of blend of real scholarship and interpretative aptitude, in any such readable prose."―Timothy McDermott, editor of Thomas Aquinas: chosen Philosophical Writings

"Stephen Wang is outstandingly well-placed to debate the fascinating and unforeseen courting among Sartre's existentialism and Aquinas's obvious 'essentialism,' and to teach the typical flooring they proportion over matters comparable to accountability, freedom, or even happiness. This ebook is stimulating, sincerely written, and hugely original."―Christina Howells, college of Oxford, editor of The Cambridge better half to Sartre

"A significant contribution to the appreciation of either authors."―Thomas Flynn, Emory collage, writer of Sartre, Foucault, and ancient Reason

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Additional resources for Aquinas and Sartre: On Freedom, Personal Identity, and the Possibility of Happiness

Example text

Did he correct it? 59 For Sartre, the Ego in Husserl’s scheme was in danger of becoming reified, and it was undermining the transparency and impersonality of consciousness that made a philosophy of intentionality possible in the first place. Sartre saw phenomenology as a way of overcoming the idealism inherent in Kant’s transcendental philosophy, but he feared that Husserl was drifting into Kantianism. This is why Sartre insists in his The Transcendence of the Ego that there is only a transcendent Ego (a personal identity that is an object to our impersonal consciousness) and not a transcendental Ego (which would lie behind our experience and constitute our fundamental identity).

He was afraid that a so-called Aristotelian philosophy of essence would involve the total determination of the individual, but in fact his own view is compatible with an Aristotelian theory of natural kinds. For Sartre’s suspicions about Aristotelianism, see Thomas C. Anderson, “Sartre and Human Nature,” American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly 70, no. 4 (1996). For the compatibility of Sartre and Aristotle, see M. Qizilbash, “Aristotle and Sartre on the Human Condition: Lack, Responsibility and the Desire to Be God,” Angelaki 3, no.

We are bodily creatures, in a certain time and place, with a personal history, living in certain conditions. There are many undeniable facts about our individual psychology. 3 These include not only latent qualities that inform our behavior (such as industriousness, jealousy, ambition) and actual states that embody a certain behavior (such as loving or hating), but also a whole pattern of acts. Our acts manifest the unified purposes of the psyche as they are embodied in the world. Human acts take on a kind of objectivity and our purposes unfold with some continuity: boxers train, scientists do research, artists create their work, politicians campaign.

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