I have decided to start my own glossary for words I come across in Being and Nothingness that I needed to look up. I’ll add to it as I go along. Hope someone else finds this useful.

Abschattung – Shade, hue, shadowing

Conatus – Exertion, striving

Concatenation – A series of interconnected events, concepts, etc, the act of linking together or the state of being joined

Dualism – Idea that in the universe there are two different kinds of things for example mind and body or Plato’s actuals vs universals.

Eidetic – to do with recall of visual imagery.

Erscheinung – In German this seems to mean everything from appearance, phenomenon, emergence. Sartre seems to use it in reference to a particular idea of Kant.

Hexis – From the Greek – often translated as state, possession or having, or disposition. I think Sartre is using it in the term of state i.e. “behind the act there is neither potency nor hexis nor virtue”. Meaning there is nothing solid behind the act.

Monism – Idea that in the universe there is only one kind of things i.e. phenomenon.

Nominalism – Idea that universals are merely names for things

Noumenal – In the realm of thought rather than substance. From noumenon – a thing as it is in itself, not perceived or interpreted, incapable of being known, but only inferred from the nature of experience or the object of a purely intellectual intuition.

Ontic – Real, possessing the character of the real 

Ontology – Study of the nature of being, set of entities presupposed by a theory, and in some senses Sartre uses it as a term for the theory as well i.e. a particular ontology would include a theory of being and associated entities.

Plenitude – Fullness, state of being complete

Transcendence – Moving beyond

Wesenchau – From Husserl – Intuition of Essences

2 responses »

  1. Nice job, useful to me, and thanks for the effort. The shortness in your definitions is great. Just for fun, add “Nothingness” and “Being”. I’d like to see what you come up with. I’m also trying to read Being and Nothingness and having great difficulty parsing his sentences. No matter. Your glossary helps. Thanks again. Dick Peddicord

    • Thanks, it’s not really complete. I got started then realised that there were just too many words that I was struggling to understand. In the end I realised that it was better to just read a sentence and see whether you could understand it without understanding all the words in it, if that makes sense. If you have to look up every strange, or uncommon word it would take six years to read the damn thing.

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