History and the Dialectic of Violence: Analysis of Sartre's 'Critique De La Raison Dialectique'

History and the Dialectic of Violence: Analysis of Sartre's 'Critique De La Raison Dialectique'

Raymond Aron

Language: English

Pages: 263

ISBN: 2:00263145

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

From the preface:
The Critique, in fact, constitutes a
kind of summa, since it deals with the whole problematic that I
had but partly considered in the Introduction. It elaborates a
theory of understanding in the sense, following Dilthey and
Weber, that I had taken the term. It deals with the limits of
the understandable or the intelligible, as Jaspers had done for
psychology and Weber had done for the study of social and
historical reality. It endeavours to elaborate a typology of
practicc-oriented ensembles, or in other woi'ds, a typology of
the different modalities of reciprocal relations between the
individual and collectives, of the different modes of integration
of collectives into consciousnesses and, inversely, of consciousnesses
into collectives. And finally, but without providing the
sustaining argument, which is left to a second volume, the
Critique takes as an ultimate goal the intelligibility of a single
History, which tends towards the foundation of Truth, or the
possibility of Truth, from a totalizing of the becoming of man.
All the while Sartre follows the road that had led neo-Kantians
and phenomenologists to a contrary conclusion: the more that
understanding the past expresses the historicity of the historian,
the more it is identified with the perception of a combination
of circumstances by the actor, and the less it avoids perspectivism.
It seems to justify the otherwise trite formula that
each generation and each epoch re-writes history. Because the
future is not yet present, and because each generation and each
epoch gives itself a different past because of the future towards
which it is oriented, it is the future that determines the present.

Critique of Dialectical Reason, Volume 1

Marxism and Philosophy (Radical Thinkers)

Landscapes of Communism: A History Through Buildings

Foucault, Marxism and Critique (Rouledge Library Editions: Michel Foucault, Volume 4)












historico-social knowledge, Sartre belongs to the tradition o f philosophers who, for the most part, were Germans emerging from the tradition o f idealism but anxious, around the turn of the century, to lay a foundation for the social sciences (Geisteswissenschaften), to reconcile strict knowledge, on the one han d,' with hermeneutic knowledge or knowledge obtained from the im m anent significations o f hum an reality, on the other. Sartre’s M arxism, having become a M arxism o f understandings

future on the basis of w hich the negation is understood. A ll three terms, totalization, temporalization, and innovation define praxis, w hich is individual at the same time as it is dialectical. Thus, it w ould seem that for the first time in the history of philosophy, Sartre takes as a model for dialectic not the dialogue but the individual or even solitary consciousness.26 T h e dialectic o f individual consci­ ousness is put into operation from the time that it finds, in the presence o f

same sense as the return to K a n t. T h e y received a p art of the H egelian heritage that was available and dispersed by the G erm an thinkers o f our era. A bove all, M arxism found its w ay into university studies in philosophy and becatne an integral part o f the philosophical tradition that lycee teachers uphold and spread throughout France. T h e H egel o f A lexand re K ojeve was already a M arxist, but it was the H egel o f the Phenomenology rather than o f the Encyclo­ paedia. H ow

provokes the w ar o f all against all and the class struggle, if man has become his own enemy because there are not enough resources to go round, it follows that the development o f productive forces can progressively triumph over scarcity and thus over the class struggle and the exploitation of man b y man. Finally, and this appears to me to be essential, scarcity radically alters the nature o f reciprocity, the interaction among praxeis. A t the m oment before the critical experience, praxeis

the end o f the total process o f understanding, the dialectic o f the three terms, w hich reciprocally determine seriality, the revolutionary apocalypse, and the institution, constitutes the working class as an on-going but incom plete totalization. ‘ A ction is control­ led in the sense that, for example, the series (as a national collective) is arbiter and mediation in the conflicts between local leaders and “ spontaneously5* formed groups: that means that final action (whether it be organized

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