Sebastian Gardner competently tackles one of Sartre's more complex and challenging works in this new addition to the "Reader's Guides" series."Sartre's 'Being and Nothingness': A Reader's Guide" follows the successful format of "Continuum's Reader's Guides" series, designed specifically to meet the needs of undergraduate students. Gardner provides a brief biographical and contextual sketch, introducing Sartre's novels and political activism. He also includes an overview of contemporary French philosophy and the influence of World War II. The book gives a unified view of the (seemingly disparate) topics discussed in "Being and Nothingness" by taking them as answers to the problem of human freedom. It also shows how Sartre's work can be placed in a long and distinguished tradition of philosophical reflection deriving from Kant.Gardner's 'Reading the Text' section reveals the systematic nature of Sartre's thought and the subtleties of his arguments (both of which can remain hidden form the first-time reader in his dense prose).
Finally, the book includes a discussion of the post-war reception of existentialism; criticisms of Being and Nothingness, including Sartre's own following his conversion to Marxism and Merleau-Ponty's in the Phenomenology of Perception; the temporary eclipsing of Sartre's thought by structuralism and Sartre's influence and importance today. This is an invaluable companion to study of this important and influential philosophical text."Continuum Reader's Guides" are clear, concise and accessible introductions to key texts in literature and philosophy. Each book explores the themes, context, criticism and influence of key works, providing a practical introduction to close reading, guiding students towards a thorough understanding of the text. They provide an essential, up-to-date resource, ideal for undergraduate students.
Sebastian Gardner is Professor of Philosophy at University College London, where he lectures on Sartre. His previous publications include the Routledge Guidebook on Kant and the Critique of Pure Reason.
1. Context; 2. Overview of themes; 3. Reading the text; 4. Reception and Influence; Bibliography & Notes for Further Reading; Index.