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Sartre: Being and Nothingness

 
  • About this Course
  • About this Lecturer

About this Course

In this course, Ms Kate Kirkpatrick (University of Oxford) explores Jean-Paul Sartre’s ‘Being and Nothingness’, a text regarded by many as one of the greatest works of 20th-century philosophy. Having introduced Sartre himself and the historical and philosophical context in which he worked in the first module, we then make our way through the text itself, focusing on key concepts and arguments: in the second module, we think about ‘nothingness’, which is followed in turn by ‘anxiety’, ‘bad faith’, ‘the body’, ‘the look’, and ‘freedom’. The final module provides a brief account of Sartre’s long-standing legacy in philosophy, literature, sociology and critical theory.

About the Lecturer

Kate is Stipendiary Lecturer in Philosophy at St Peter's College, Oxford. Her doctoral research focused on the atheist philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre as a phenomenologist of fallenness. Drawing on Sartre’s philosophical and literary works from the 1930s and early 1940s, she argues that Sartre’s description of consciousness – as radically free, ‘haunted by being’, and estranged from others – has recognizable antecedents in the Augustinian doctrine of original sin. In addition to making this historical and exegetical case, Kate’s thesis also argues that Sartre’s graceless account of sin is a valuable resource for contemporary hamartiology.