Sartres serialitet. Existentiellt begripande och en exkurs om Coronakrisen

  • Rolf Hugoson


Sartre’s seriality: Existential conceptualizations and an excursus on the Corona crisis

In his Critique of Dialectical Reason (1960) Sartre tried to clarify the dialectic between different levels of understanding, between theory and existential or factual praxis. Within the material realm of praxis, there are two forms of mediation: the group (oriented by a common interest) and the series. A series is an ordered gathering, such as a queue; but can also be the audience that listens to the radio; or the activity of smuggling gold out of Spain, in the 16th century. Sartre is unwilling to call seriality a concept, and I concur by emphasizing the variability of the phenomenon but also its usefulness as a political term. I demonstrate that a pattern can be found among Sartre’s examples of seriality: a series can either be active or passive, reflective or unreflective. However, a series which is both active and reflected is an anomaly, since this means that the series transforms into the other form of mediation, the group, or even ”an organized Apocalypse”. In a short excursus I apply these forms of seriality to the spring 2020 Corona crisis, where the political problem of choosing between patience and impatience is touched upon.