Tag Archives: existentialism

Sartre and Maslow on romance

Warning: Mature content ahead.

Had a nice idea!

Sartre and Maslow both favor non-possessiveness. Sartre’s point is more philosophical: We cannot, as a matter of ontological fact, “possess” the Other. The prime example is in romantic love–particularly, in the consensual sexual (“consexual”) act.

During “consex” (obviously, consensual sex…), we might gaze upon the other with desire for their flesh. Uh…

…let’s desexualize this. “Deconsexualize”?

Maslow believed self-actualizing people do not seek to possess their romantic Other*.

When we put Sartre and Maslow together in this constext, we neither can nor should possess another whose presence we enjoy and desire.

*My subjective interpretation of Maslow’s actual view.

Marx, Rousseau, Smith, and Sartre

Marx believed that capitalist working classes would rise up and revolt against the upper classes. Rousseau believed humans join society upon agreement to a “socpopial contract”. Adam Smith advocated for laissez-faire economics, believing that an “invisible hand” could correct such an economy toward equilibrium.

The Qur’an states that the oppressed have rights to defend themselves from oppressors. Are socioeconomic upper classes rightly oppressing those beneath them? Is a Marxist-style revolt justified?

Rousseau’s theory of social contract is existential (e.g., Sartrean) to the extent that being thrown into the world usually lands humans into society.

Given the above state of affairs, can lower classes voluntarily exit their (unequal, and so undesirable) social contracts? If not, and if they are being oppressed–sweatshop labor is an noncontroversial example–then they have the religious right to revolt (per Islam).

Postmodernism and behavior

Let us define postmodernism here as emphasizing nurture (cultural or societal influence) over nature (biological influence).

Where do we ground human behavior? Does nature or nurture determine it?

If behavior is granted to be psychological, rather than only physiological, then we must contend with whether we act with agency.

The more agentically we act, the stronger nurture’s role is.

In other words: the more free will we humans possess, the more postmodern we are.

We shouldn’t ignore our biology. But to what extent does it constrain or define what we do?

Genetics predisposes us toward certain behaviors over others. This equates with tendency, but not hard determinism.

Similarly, our environments play a role in what we can do, should do, and ultimately do.

What do societal and/or cultural influence look like? Society consists in two or more people who agree (i.e., they enter into a “contract”) on certain axioms for living. These comprise said society’s ethics.

Culture, I have argued, consists in preferred modes of being and doing. Such constitutes our style, or “art” of being. We have “tastes” for and against certain modes of living.

Societally, then, our behavior is governed by our agreed-upon ethics. Culturally, what we do should capitalize on our desired ways of being.

Arguably, society is largely a modern construct. Culture may be granted to be more evolutionarily recent: it is postmodern.

Postmodern living is how we freely choose to cope with facticity (including law and the world of physical objects: what we are “thrown” into the world amidst). Societal living consists in fulfilling our formal roles as social beings, e.g. providing for our families and others.

Postmodernity grants us individual freedom, given that we act sufficiently as responsible social agents.

Existentialism by Suraj (Pt. I)

Existentialism’s prime question is of what “it” means.

What is it? It could simply denote existentialism. This much might be somewhat circular. For if existentialism is concerned dearly with “meaning”, then it is foremost concerned with it’s own being. 

Existential circularity need not be equated with the fallacious logical kind. Its status for all existent beings shall become the foregoing analysis’ next focus.