Cosmos and History: The Journal of Natural and Social Philosophy, Vol 13, No 1 (2017)

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The Implicit Presence of the Problem of Nothingness in Twentieth Century French Philosophy

Héctor Sevilla Godínez


The objective of this article is to refer to and identify the implicit presence of the concept of nothingness in the central philosophical proposals of last century’s French philosophy. Even though the authors are not considered Nihilistic in themselves, there does exist in them an identification contained in their reflections that point towards a particular conception of nothingness, or to one of its analogies. The study commences arguing the idea of a great puppet master as a metaphor of nothingness that is implicit in Sartre’s thought; following, that unseen region that man cannot come to contemplate, according to Merleau-Ponty, will be boarded; afterwards, .reference will be made to the idea of shadow contributed by Levinas and its implications in philosophy that were passed on to us; lastly, the focus will be on what Derrida denominated as “veils”, which do not allow us to see what is. 

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