more from Jean-Paul Sartre

Single Idea 6151

[catalogued under 15. Nature of Minds / B. Features of Minds / 1. Consciousness / b. Essence of consciousness]

Full Idea

Sartre defends a view of consciousness as nothing but a directedness towards objects, insisting that these objects are transcendent with respect to that consciousness; hence Sartre is one of the first genuine externalists.


'Transcendent' means beyond, here; Externalists say mind is partly defined by external factors

Gist of Idea

Sartre says consciousness is just directedness towards external objects


report of Jean-Paul Sartre (Being and Nothingness [1943]) by Mark Rowlands - Externalism Ch.1

Book Reference

Rowlands,Mark: 'Externalism' [Acumen 2003], p.4

A Reaction

An ancestor here is, I think, Schopenhauer (Idea 4166). The idea is attractive, as we are brought up with idea that we have a thing called 'consciousness', but if you removed its contents there would literally be nothing left.

Related Idea

Idea 4166 A consciousness without an object is no consciousness [Schopenhauer]