The Philosophy of Our Time
Jean-Paul Sartre’s existential Marxism offers a radical philosophical foundation for today’s revitalized critiques of capitalism.
By Ronald Aronson
Nearly forty years after his death in 1980, the French philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre is best remembered as the father of existentialism. We are most familiar with him as the theorist of freedom, authenticity, and bad faith in philosophical treatises such as Being and Nothingness (1943) and literary works such as Nausea (1938) and No Exit (1944). But eclipsed in this popular image is an appreciation of the staggering range of his dozens of volumes of published work, especially the fruit of his political activity from the end of World War II until his death—a period marked most notably by a rich and sustained engagement with Marxism.