Jean-Paul Sartre and the post-1968 ethic of anti-representationalism

In this article, I examine Jean-Paul Sartre’s later thought in relation to the advent of post-structuralism, and, in particular, the avowed refusal of representational practices by its proponents. I argue that this refusal, most persuasively presented as the principle or ethic of anti-representationalism by Todd May, is, in fact, reflected in Sartre’s move from committed writing and active social engagement to manifestly apolitical concerns. Reading Sartre’s later work in light of this principle permits seeing these apparently purely intellectual concerns as part of an effort to come to terms with the ethical problematics of representation.