Sartre аnd America


  • William L. McBride Purdue University (Indiana, USA)



Sartre, USA, America, France, Society, Beauvoir, philosophy, history, freedom, genocide, ethics, politics


The article is devoted to the North American Sartre Society, which was founded in 1985. The author as its co-founder develops his point of view presenting during panel discussion of Sartre’s relations with the United States on the 2015 meeting. He devoted a lot of papers and books to Sartre’s philosophy. Some of them are presented in the references. The author reflects at a somewhat deeper level on Sartre’s attitudes towards USA in the context of its history and international relations, saying about philosopher’s contradictions, the strategy and tactics of his self-disinvitation. The author traces Sartre’s transition from one myth of America to another in later life. Sartre’s initial experiential encounter with the American reality was by no means entirely positive, but he did like New York City, feeling a sense of freedom in the midst of its crowds that he retained as an important part of his picture of America when back in France. Freedom, an open future, almost unlimited possibilities, and a lack of a sense of history of the sort by which Europe is shackled. Several events of the postwar world history such as Korean war, then Vietnam war paved the way for Sartre’s most salient later attitudes towards America. Meanwhile, Sartre had accepted an invitation to present lectures at Cornell University in 1965. But after American massive bombing of North Vietnam in 1965 Sartre responded by disinviting himself from Cornell by way of protest. Recounting these events, the author of the paper recalls so-called “Cornell Lectures”, which were saved in unfinished manuscript form and have been given the title “Morale et Histoire”. A serious interest in American political life is shown on Sartre’s and Beauvoir’s visit to Cuba as guests of Fidel Castro and Sartre’s participation in Lord Bertrand Russell’s independent War Crimes Tribunal.

Author Biography

William L. McBride, Purdue University (Indiana, USA)

Professor of Philosophy; Arthur G. Hansen Distinguished Professor; , Co-founder of the North American Sartre Society, Ex-President of FISP - the International Federation of Philosophical Societies


McBride, W. (1967). Jean-Paul Sartre: Man, Freedom, and Praxis. In: Existential Philosophers, ed. G. Schrader, McGraw-Hill, New York, 261-329.

McBride, W. (1969). Sartre and the Phenomenology of Social Violence. In: New Essays in Phenomenology, ed. J. Edie, Quadrangle, New York, 290-313.

McBride, W. (1981). Sartre and Marxism. In: The Philosophy of Jean-Paul Sartre, ed. P. Schilpp, Open Court, La Salle, Ill., 605-630.

McBride, W. (1981). Sartre’s Philosophy of History. Eros 8:1, 71-81.

McBride, W. (1987). The Evolution of Sartre’s Conception of Morals. Phenomenological Inquiry, Oct., 24-44.

McBride, W. (winter 1989). The Case of Sartre. Social Research 56, 4 , 849-875.

McBride, W. (1991). Sartre’s Political Theory. Indiana University Press.

McBride, W. (1992). Sartre’s Concept of Freedom. Phenomenological Inquiry 16, (Oct. ), 64-76.

McBride, W. (1993). La philosophie politique sartrienne d’après le deuxième tome de la ‘Critique de la raison dialectique’. Gli scritti postumi di Sartre, ed. Invitto and Montano, Casa Ed. Marietti, Genoa, 227-238.

McBride, W. (1993). Le changement, la liberté, et le socialisme (soviétique et autre) chez Sartre. Bulletin de la Société Américaine de Philosophie de Langue Française V, 2-3, 27-43.

McBride, W. (1995). Sartre and the Perspectives of Global Philosophy (interview). In: Philosophy at the End of the XXth Century, interviews by Y. Raynova, Izdatelstvo, Pleven, 137-147 [in Bulgarian].

McBride, W. (1995). Sartre’s Debts to Kierkegaard: A Partial Reckoning. In: Kierkegaard in Post/Modernity, ed. Matuštík and Westphal, Indiana U. Press, Bloomington, 18-42.

McBride, W. ( 1998). Sartre à Eichstätt. Bulletin de la Société Américaine de Philosophie de Langue Française X, 1(spring), 69-70.

McBride, W. (2000). Des preuves ontologiques chez Descartes et Sartre: Dieu, le ‘je’, et le groupe. In: L’ Esprit Cartésien (Actes du XXVI Congrès de l’Association des Sociétés de Philosophie de Langue Française) II, Librairie Philosophique J. Vrin, Paris, 645-650.

McBride, W. (2001). Les premiers comptes rendus de L’ Être et le néant. In: La Naissance du ‘Phénomène Sartre’: Raisons d’ un succès 1938-1945, ed. I. Galster, Éditions du Seuil, Paris, 185-199.

McBride, W. (2001). Merleau-Ponty and Sartre: The Singular Universal, Childhood, and Social Explanation. In: Merleau-Ponty’s Later Works and Their Practical Implications: The Dehiscence of Responsibility, ed. D. Davis, Humanity Books, Amherst, NY, 63-86.

McBride, W. (2002. Sartre’s Critique.In: The Political, ed. D. Ingram, Malden/Oxford, Blackwell, 132-148.

McBride, W. (2004). Sartre’s Response to Kant’s Question, ‘What May I Hope? In: Mulla Sadra, Logic & Ethics (Islam-West Philosophical Dialogue, Volume 8), Tehran: Sadra Islamic Philosophy Research Institute, 333-48.

McBride, W. (2006). “Foreword” to Michelle R. Darnell, Self in the Theoretical Writings of Sartre

and Kant: A Revisionist Study, Lewiston, The Edwin Mellen Press, I-iii.

McBride, W. (2007). Sartre e Beauvoir all’asse del ventesimo secolo. Trans. from the original French (Sartre et Beauvoir à l’axe du vingtième siècle) by P. Invitto, La fenomenologia e l’oltre-fenomenologia: Prendendo spunto dal pensiero francese, ed. G. Invitto, Milan, Mimesis Edizioni, 91-101.

McBride, W. (2007). The Sartre Centenary: Why Sartre Now? Phenomenology 2005: Selected Essays from North America, ed. L.Embree & T.Nenon, Bucharest, Zeta Books, 441-57.

McBride, W. (2009). Taking a Distance: Exploring Some Points of Divergence between Beauvoir and Sartre. In: Beauvoir and Sartre: The Riddle of Influence, ed. C. Daigle & J. Golomb, Indiana University Press, 189-202.

McBride, W. (2010). Sartre and Phenomenology. In: Vol. 4, Phenomenology: Responses and Developments, ed. L. Lawlor, of The History of Continental Philosophy, ed. A. Schrift, Durham, Acumen, 67-85.

McBride, W. (2011). Jean-Paul Sartre: ‘In the Soup’. In: Political Philosophy in the Twentieth Century: Authors and Arguments, ed.C. Zuckert, Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 215-227.

McBride, W. (2012). Préface à Esthétique de la Réflexivité: Essai sur la dimension interculturelle de l’anthropologie existentielle de J.-P. Sartre, par Nke Fridolin, Saarbrücken, Éditions Universitaires Européennes, 11-16.

McBride,W. (2013). Politics and the Engaged Intellectual. In: Jean-Paul Sartre: Key Concepts, ed. S. Churchill and J. Reynolds, Durham, Acumen Publishing, 173-183.

McBride, W. (2016). La dignité humaine et la Préface sartrienne aux Damnés de la terre. Diogène 253 , (Janv.-Mars), 86-90.


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How to Cite

McBride, W. L. (2017). Sartre аnd America. Filosofiya Osvity. Philosophy of Education, 21(2), 266–275.






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