Thursday, March 02, 2006

Being and Nothingness

Too good to keep off the internet. A companion piece to Dens of Robbers.

"The reflective nihilation, however, is pushed further than that of the pure for-itself as a simple self-consciousness. In self-consciousness, in fact, the two terms of the dyad 'reflected-reflecting' were so incapable of presenting themselves separately that the duality remained perpetually evanescent and each term while positing itself for the other became the other. But with reflection the case is different since the 'reflection-reflecting' which is reflected-on exists for a 'reflection-reflecting' which is reflective. Reflected-on and reflective, therefore, each tend toward independence, and the nothing which separates them tends to divide them more profoundly than the nothingness which the For-itself has to be separates the reflection from the reflecting. Yet neither the reflective not the reflected-on can secrete this separating nothingness, for in that case reflection would be an autonomous for-itself coming to direct itself on the reflected-on, which would be to suppose an external negation as the preliminary condition of an internal negation. There can be no reflection if it is not entirely a being, a being which has to be its own nothingness. (Sartre, Being and Nothingess, Pt III c1. , 4)

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