Two Paradoxes in Sartre’s Treatment of the Body

  • Biswarup Das Faculty Member, Department of English, Jamaldaha Tulsi Devi High School, Coochbehar, West Bengal, India
Keywords: Body, Facticity, Freedom, Instrument, Perspective, Sartre


The present study aims at investigating the significance of the two intriguing claims the 20th-century French thinker Jean-Paul Sartre makes about the body. The first claim equates the body with the centre of an individual’s perspective on the world. The second pinpoints the body as the determinant of one’s freedom. Chiefly by citing Sartre’s magnum opus, Being and Nothingness, the paper attempts to explicate these two claims while focusing on the significance of physical performance as the prerequisite for mental influence. The paper would show how in order to have a perspective or exercise freedom and, as such, have a pragmatic touch with the world around, the body’s instrumental traits and hence its limitations that determine one’s undertakings become the primary condition.

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