Sartre’s Later Work: Toward a notion of institutional violence

Marieke Mueller

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Citation (SciVal)


This chapter presents crucial elements of Jean-Paul Sartre’s approach to violence. Violence for Sartre is first and foremost a fundamental fact of reality, as evidenced by two world wars, colonialism and racism, and the resistance to the German occupation and anticolonial struggles. While violence is considered criminal and thus always destroys a right, it then gives rise to the establishment of a new right or a law. An article on Sartrean violence by Michael Fleming criticizes Ronald Santoni’s aforementioned reading of Sartre’s take on violence as characterized by ambiguity, along with Hannah Arendt’s interpretation, as a result of an overemphasis on individual violence at the expense of structural violence. According to Sartre, the main function of the school system is that of providing an ‘introduction to bourgeois life,’ and in particular, introducing children to competition, a serialized relationship in which Otherness dominates because each pupil is defined in numerical terms in relation to the others.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Meanings of Violence
Subtitle of host publicationFrom Critical Theory to Biopolitics
EditorsGavin Rae, Emma Ingala
PublisherTaylor & Francis
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)9781351336529
ISBN (Print)9780203703762
Publication statusPublished - 17 Oct 2018

Publication series

NameRoutledge Studies in Contemporary Philosophy


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