Critique of Dialectical Reason

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Critique of Dialectical Reason  
Cover of the paperback edition
Author en:Sartre
Translator Alan Sheridan-Smith
Language English
Genre(s) Nonfiction
Publisher Verso
Publication date 2004
Media type Paperback
Pages ~840
ISBN 1-85984-485-5

Critique of Dialectical Reason, (French: Critique de la raison dialectique) (1960), (Volume I: Theory of Practical Ensembles) [1]was the last of Jean-Paul Sartre's major philosophical works: it attempts to use Existentialism as a foundational contribution to Marxism as described in Search for a Method, both of which were written as a common manuscript of some 755 pages with Sartre intending the Critique to logically precede Search[2]. The second volume with an incomplete treatment of the Stalinization of the Bolshevik revolution was published in French in 1985 and in English in 1992.

Sartre is quoted as having said this was the principal of his two philosophical works for which he wished to be remembered.[3][4]

Volume I


The Dogmatic Dialectic and the Critical Dialectic

Critique of Critical Investigation

Book I - From Individual Praxis to the Practico-Inert

Individual Praxis as Totalisation

Human Relations as Mediation between Different Sectors of Materiality

Matter as Totalised Totality: a First Encounter with Necessity


Book II - From Groups to History

The Fused Group

The Statutory Group

The Organization

The Constituted Dialectic

The Unity of the Group as Other: the Militant

The Institution

The Place of History

Class Struggle and Dialectical Reason

Volume II

See also


  1. Critique of Dialectical Reason Volume I Theory of Practical Ensembles Tr. by Alan Sheridan Smith. Verso 2004 ISBN 1-85984-485-5
  2. "Sartre says that Search for a Method logically belongs at the end of the Critique, since it is the Critique which supplies the critical foundations for the method which Sartre proposes. He places the shorter work first, partly because he feared it might otherwise seem that 'the mountain had brought forth a mouse' and partly because Search for a Method was actually written first." Hazel Barnes p ix, introduction to Search Vintage 1963 edition. Next page describes the content of the original manuscript.
  3. Sartre at 70: An interview Full text of the interview in which the author gives his opinion in the New York Review of Books. Actual question (at beginning of Part II) is "And which of your works do you hope to see the new generation take up again?"
  4. Infidels, Freethinkers, Humanists, and Unbelievers Sartre after Literature ¶ 3. Typical of the secondary sources referring to the actual text in the interview.

External links

Excerpts from Sartre's work: