By Jean-Paul Sartre
An immense occasion within the background of twentieth-century notion, Notebooks for a Ethics is Jean-Paul Sartre's try and boost an ethics in line with the profound individualism of his existential philosophy.
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Additional resources for Notebooks for an Ethics
First ambiguity of the separation of the real and consciousness. 2d, each human being along with every other one makes up a de totalized totality. Hence the action of Paul in Zambia does not necessarily affect Pierre in Japan. There is a tendency for actions to be isolated from each other, there is a historical threshold. But this threshold is a highly variable one. This is the level where chance intervenes. There is chance in history only because there may be an encounter, hence the absence of unity.
At this moment, the idea becomes once again a subjective project; my free project. I become the idea. Only at the same time, the idea closes in on me. It is objectified for others, it as an aspect of the in-itself: consistency, permanency, corporality. All at once, I am characterized by the idea. I become a communist, a socialist. The idea has two layers of objectivity: objectivity in immanence, that is, that it is not just thought and lived by me, but thought and lived by others. The error is to believe that the idea unifies.
This is what we call direct action. But this presupposes inertia. Now in one sense inertia does exist in consciousness but as feigned (flight, inauthenticity). Hence in a certain way historical action is mechanical. But in another way it is feigned, always revocable, and also partial. One of Hitler's proclamations mechanically affects the Germans because they want to be inert, but it is only a proposal to his opponents and to the leaders of other governments. At this moment it becomes historical.