Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Between being and nothingness : sin in Jean-Paul Sartre
Author: Kirkpatrick, Kate
ISNI:       0000 0004 6495 9659
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2016
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Full text unavailable from EThOS. Restricted access.
Access from Institution:
This thesis argues that Jean-Paul Sartre's early philosophy retained a recognizable inheritance from the Christian doctrine of original sin. On the standard reading, Sartre's most fundamental and attractive idea - the idea that brought him his reputation as 'the philosopher of his generation' - is freedom. But, as Sarah Richmond notes, Sartre's interest in phenomenology 'co-existed with and was an instrument for his wish to demonstrate the existence of human freedom, and his sense that the way to do this was by establishing an essential connection of consciousness with nothingness.' Taking Being and Nothingness as its primary exegetical focus, this thesis argues that the early, anti-humanist Sartre retained a recognizable descendant of the Christian doctrine of original sin in his concept of le néant. Previous scholars have noted the resemblance between Sartre's and Augustine's ontology: to name but one shared theme, both thinkers describe the human as the being through which nothingness enters the world. But no in-depth examination of this 'resemblance' has been made. Using historical, exegetical, and conceptual methods, my research demonstrates that Sartre's intellectual formation prior to his discovery of phenomenology included theological elements which are often overlooked by Sartre scholars - especially in the English-speaking philosophical community, where his phenomenological influences receive greater attention. The thesis therefore (i) outlines the French Augustinianisms by which, I argue, Sartre's account of the human as 'between being and nothingness' was informed; in order to (ii) undertake a close reading of Being and Nothingness, which shows (a) that the psychological, epistemological, and ethical consequences of Sartre's le néant closely resemble the consequences of its theological predecessor and (b) that his account of freedom can be read as an anti-theodicy; and finally (iii) to argue constructively that Sartre is a useful resource for contemporary hamartiology. In doing so it contributes to both Sartre scholarship and the theological sub-discipline of modern doctrine.
Supervisor: Pattison, George ; Anderson, Pamela Sue Sponsor: Arts and Humanities Research Council
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Sin ; Original ; Phenomenology ; Ontology