The relation between conciousness and the ego: the question of ethics in Sartre‘s early philosophy /

Afyonoğlu, Meliha Funda
This investigation tries to disclose the meaning of the self and the question of ethics in Sartre’s early philosophy through the relation between consciousness and the ego. For the sake of this aim, this investigation is divided into three argumentative parts. The first part tries to reveal the relation of consciousness and the ego through the question of what it means to be self in Sartre’s philosophy. Sarte conceptualizes consciousness as a non-substantial absolute, spontaneous, autonomous and nihilating power and reveals ego as a free, creative and original product of consciousness. On this ground, Sartre’s identifies consciousness with freedom and nothingness which points out human beings’ free self-determination. Therefore, the first result of the investigation is that we, as conscious being, create who we are freely. However, this free self-determination leads us to discuss the question of ethics, since there seems to be no ground for ethical action. That is also one of the reasons why Sartre is labeled as ethical subjectivist or nihilist. As a result, the second part discusses the possibility of ethics in general, of ethical action in particular in Sartre’s early philosophy. The final part focuses on the existentialist ethics in which freedom and responsibility are the basis of all morality. The existentialist ethics opens us a way to reconsider ethics, and presents freedom as an ultimate value in which we seek freedom for its own sake and promote freedom of others.


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Citation Formats
M. F. Afyonoğlu, “The relation between conciousness and the ego: the question of ethics in Sartre‘s early philosophy /,” M.S. - Master of Science, Middle East Technical University, 2014.