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being in-itself/for-itself


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Edmund Husserl (1859—1938) German philosopher

Martin Heidegger (1889—1976) German philosopher

Jean-Paul Sartre (1905—1980) French philosopher, novelist, dramatist, and critic

Immanuel Kant (1724—1804) German philosopher

 

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A contrast heralded in the phenomenology of Husserl and Heidegger, and central to Sartre's work Being and Nothingness. Being for-itself (pour-soi) is the mode of existence of consciousness, consisting in its own activity and purposive nature; being in-itself (en-soi) is the self-sufficient, lumpy, contingent being of ordinary things. The contrast bears some affinity to Kant's distinction between the perspective of agency or freedom and that of awareness of the ordinary phenomenal world.

Subjects: Philosophy.


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