“There is no art except for and by others”

In his essay What is Literature, Sartre theorizes that literature and other art is a social phenomena, in that an author writes for the reader and needs the reader for a complete performance of his or her work.  As per Stern (1967), “all the words of a book could be read one by one and still the meaning of the work would not emerge, were it not that the reader’s mind gives it meaning”.

Sartre calls this a ‘re-invention’ saying that “it is the conjoint effort of author and reader which brings upon the scene that concrete and imaginary object which is the work of the mind.”  Therefore..  There is no art except for and by others..

On Ortega..

As per the Spanish philosopher Ortega “una vida en disponibilidad es major negacion de si misma que la muerta..”

Translated:  “A disposable life is a greater negation of itself than death”


In this sense, Ortega (like Sartre) argues that we have a “moral necessity to commitment to a definite project”, that is, our actions define who we are and it’s not so much the action that counts as the commitment to it.

Such philosophy also considers all commitments to be morally equivalent, so long as action is taken.  Huh… Does anyone else see a problem with that?