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Existentialist Freedom, Distorted Normativity and Emancipation

Baiasu, Sorin

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Usually associated with a view of freedom as absolute, Sartre’s philosophy seems particularly able to account for the indeterminacy that we experience today in most areas of human experience that have a normative dimension. Without denying that this is a plausible reading, it will be argued here that it is nevertheless a problematic interpretation. On this reading, existentialism seems unable to account for the fact that we are powerfully conditioned by a significant number of factors, which limit our freedom and, in certain situations, make emancipation a normative requirement. It is held here that this problem can be addressed and a less problematic interpretation of Sartre can be defended, once we start to acknowledge that in Sartre we have a variety of notions of freedom that can provide a robust account of our freedom, of authentic choice and of responsibility.


Baiasu, S. Existentialist Freedom, Distorted Normativity and Emancipation. Oñati Socio-Legal Series, 5(3), 874 -894

Journal Article Type Article
Online Publication Date Nov 3, 2014
Publicly Available Date May 26, 2023
Journal Oñati Socio-Legal Studies
Print ISSN 2079-5971
Publisher Oñati International Institute for the Sociology of Law Foundation
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 5
Issue 3
Pages 874 -894
Keywords existentialism, normativity, freedom, emancipation, Sartre, Existentialism, normativity, freedom, emancipation, Sartre, Existencialismo, normativismo, libertad, emancipación
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Additional Information Also found at;
Oñati Socio-Legal Series, Vol. 5, No. 3, 2015


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