Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Being and Nothingness: UFOs and Jean-Paul Sartre


Aside from Bruce Duensing, there is little point to suggesting visitors here read Jean-Paul Sartre’s monumental Being and Nothingness, the ne plus ultra of existentialism.

But we will suggest Joseph S. Catalano’s A Commentary on Jean-Paul Sartre’s “Being and Nothingness” [Harper & Row, NY, 1974].


Professor Catalano’s book provides a concise, lucid overview of Sartre’s book and philosophy. It also defines “phenomenon” – the definition of which (by Sartre and Husserl) is applicable and relevant to UFOs.


Reality is a complex thing, and not clarified by anyone, including philospophers. Jean-Paul Sartre is not an exception but his views are attuned, rather specifically, to the UFO phenomenon as it manifests itself in the modern era:

“As a phenomenologist, [Sartre] begins with a study of phenomenon – that very appearance that does not hide reality but reveals it.” [Catalano, Page 35]

Some UFO mavens – Duensing among them, if I understand his erudite writings – think that UFOs interact with human consciousness, and their [UFOs] existence dependent upon the human interaction.

Sartre says this:

“…the subsistence of a permanent element apart from something which changes can not allow change to be constituted as such except in the eyes of a witness who would be himself united with that which changes and with that which remains.” [Sartre, Being and Nonthingness, Philosophical Library, NY, 1956, Page 143]

That is to say that UFO witnesses are linked, transmentally, with the phenomenon, and become a part of it; an idea that meshes with quantum’s theory of the observer affecting that which it is observing (measuring).

For “nuts and bolts” ufologists, this is buggy and ignored. But should it be?

The superficial approach of mechanical ufologists hasn’t provided anything conclusive in the sixty-plus years of UFO scrutiny. Isn’t it time to give consideration to ideas steeped in such theorizing as that of Sartre or Bruce Duensing (at his blog, Intangible Materiality)?

Sartre, in his Conclusion to Being…,writes, “But here, as in Greek philosophy a question is raised: which shall we call real?” [Ibid, Page 622]

That is the same question that UFO aficionados have been asking for years.

We suggest that the mental gyrations required to understand Sartre can be employed to understand the UFO phenomenon.

But understanding the phenomenon doesn’t determine the essence of the phenomenon, and that still requires scrutiny of an evidentiary kind.

Ontology may be helpful as a methodology fro UFO study, but there still exists a need to touch and hold the phenomenon, which has a tangible reality, as far as the evidence thus far indicates, or does it?

That’s the question, after all, isn’t it?


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