A Commentary on Jean-Paul Sartre’s “Being and Nothingness”

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“[A Commentary on Jean-Paul Sartre’s Being and Nothingness] represents, I believe, a very important beginning of a deservingly serious effort to make the whole of Being and Nothingness more readily understandable and readable. . . . In his systematic interpretations of Sartre’s book, [Catalano] demonstrates a determination to confront many of the most demanding issues and concepts of Being and Nothingness. He does not shrink-as do so many interpreters of Sartre-from such issues as the varied meanings of ‘being, ‘ the meaning of ‘internal negation’ and ‘absolute event, ‘ the idiosyncratic senses of transcendence, the meaning of the ‘upsurge’ in its different contexts, what it means to say that we ‘exist our body, ‘ the connotation of such concepts as quality, quantity, potentiality, and instrumentality (in respect to Sartre’s world of ‘things’), or the origin of negation. . . . Catalano offers what is doubtless one of the most probing, original, and illuminating interpretations of Sartre’s crucial concept of nothingness to appear in the Sartrean literature.”-Ronald E. Santoni, International Philosophical Quarterly

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