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Sartre's Theory of Motivation

Type of publication Peer-reviewed
Publikationsform Original article (peer-reviewed)
Author Vanello Daniel,
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Original article (peer-reviewed)

Journal Southern Journal of Philosophy
Volume (Issue) 57(2)
Page(s) 259 - 278
Title of proceedings Southern Journal of Philosophy
DOI 10.1111/sjp.12321


The aim of this article is to offer a novel reconstruction of Sartre's theory of motivation. I argue for four related claims: (a) Sartre's theory of motivation revolves around the Schelerian‐inspired notion of affectivity and the peculiar way affectivity provides us access to evaluative properties of the objects in our environment; (b) according to Sartre, the structure of intentional action, and in particular the act of choice and commitment to projects, is inextricably linked with “affectivity”; (c) the inextricable link between intentional action and affectivity is to be analyzed in terms of the fundamental structure of consciousness as being self‐present, thus making the agent nonpositionally aware of her choices and commitments; (d) an agent is motivated to act when her affective disclosure of value is in part constituted by the awareness of her commitments to relevant projects.