luni, 15 august 2011

Sartre's Unity of Action

The only truly human unity – unity of action
J.-P. Sartre, The Quest for the Absolute

To qualify unity as human, animal, artistic, etc. supposes the belief in the value of unity beyond any qualification. It is the simile of the Ancient philosophical allegation of an all surpassing unity.

Apart from the unity as the highest principle, one that is also beyond being, it may be approached as a human value. In this respect, it is still worthy, but not for itself. The unity is desirable in its negative side, as a form of paying off the absence of an ever lasting or eternal life.

As long as there is not any menace to the continuity of a life in a previous shape or pattern, nobody longs for an exhaustive interpretation of his life. And of this sort is the representation of life as a unity. Moreover, it is not needed any linguistic description of such a life.

A so called ‘normal’ life is not included as a subject matter of discussions where the words abound. We scarcely find a literary or a philosophical account of a ‘normal’ life, not only because of its platitude, but also for its speechless character.

When someone attempts to speak about it, he needs to hang on its surrounding context. He will discuss the social implications of a ‘normal’ life, its duties, its space of dwelling etc, just because all of these are able to be judged as variables to be occupied by more than one possessor of a ‘normal’ life.

Therefore, about a ‘normal’ life it is inappropriate to discuss its unity or multiplicity, since it is pure existence. And anybody lives such a ‘normal’ life together with its discontinuities that make it not abnormal, but able to be discussed.

The raise of the possibility of discussing a life erupts in an excess of discourse. The slowness of a description is too close to the rhythm of a ‘normal’ life for being adopted. It is preferred the outrageous or at least tonic discourse about an action.

Therefore, Sartre’s ascription of human unity to the action is influenced by the fact that action permits such a linguistic outburst. All the slogans that accompany social actions constitute a proof for this fact. Not only for an outer observer, but also for the possessor of a continuous life, the possibility of action is primarily a possibility of discussing his or her life.

As a consequence, the unity of human life hardly can be viewed above the abundance of the words that come together with human actions. If we stated that the unity substitutes existence, it is pretty sure that it needs greater amplitude than that exposed by actions, many times one weakened by the proliferation of language.