more from Jean-Paul Sartre

Single Idea 7108

[catalogued under 15. Nature of Minds / A. Nature of Mind / 5. Unity of Mind]

Full Idea

The unity of the thousand active consciousnesses through which I have added two and two to make four, is the transcendent object '2+2=4'. Without the permanence of this eternal truth, it would be impossible to conceive of a real unity of mind.

Gist of Idea

The eternal truth of 2+2=4 is what gives unity to the mind which regularly thinks it


Jean-Paul Sartre (Transcendence of the Ego [1937], I (A))

Book Reference

Sartre,Jean-Paul: 'The Transcendence of the Ego' [Routledge 2004], p.6

A Reaction

This is the germ of externalism, here presented as a Platonic attitude to arithmetic, rather than being about water or gold. He claims that internalist attitudes to unity are fictions. I am inclined to think he is wrong, and that unity is biological.