Critique of Dialectical Reason: Theory of practical ensembles

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Verso, Jun 14, 2004 - History - 835 pages
At the height of the Algerian war, Jean-Paul Sartre embarked on a fundamental reappraisal of his philosophical and political thought. The result was the Critique of Dialectical Reason, an intellectual masterpiece of the twentieth century, now republished with a major original introduction by Fredric Jameson. Here, Sartre began a new theory of history that he believed was necessary for postwar Marxism. His substantive concern was the structure of class struggle and the fate of the mass movements of popular revolt, from the French Revolution at the end of the eighteenth century to the Russian and Chinese revolutions in the twentieth.

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Contents

EDITORS NOTE
xi
THE DOGMATIC DIALECTIC
15
Hegelian Dogmatism
21
Copyright

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About the author (2004)

Sartre is the dominant figure in post-war French intellectual life. A graduate of the prestigious Ecole Normale Superieure with an agregation in philosophy, Sartre has been a major figure on the literary and philosophical scenes since the late 1930s. Widely known as an atheistic proponent of existentialism, he emphasized the priority of existence over preconceived essences and the importance of human freedom. In his first and best novel, Nausea (1938), Sartre contrasted the fluidity of human consciousness with the apparent solidity of external reality and satirized the hypocrisies and pretensions of bourgeois idealism. Sartre's theater is also highly ideological, emphasizing the importance of personal freedom and the commitment of the individual to social and political goals. His first play, The Flies (1943), was produced during the German occupation, despite its underlying message of defiance. One of his most popular plays is the one-act No Exit (1944), in which the traditional theological concept of hell is redefined in existentialist terms. In Red Gloves (Les Mains Sales) (1948), Sartre examines the pragmatic implications of the individual involved in political action through the mechanism of the Communist party and a changing historical situation. His highly readable autobiography, The Words (1964), tells of his childhood in an idealistic bourgeois Protestant family and of his subsequent rejection of his upbringing. Sartre has also made significant contributions to literary criticism in his 10-volume Situations (1947--72) and in works on Baudelaire, Genet, and Flaubert.

Jonathan Ree teaches philosophy at the University of Middlesex. A reviewer for" The Times Literary Supplement "and "The London Review of Books," he is also the author of "Philosophical Tales" and "Heidegger. "He lives in Oxford, England.