Document Type


Publication Date

Winter 2008

Source Publication

Sartre Studies International

Source ISSN



In his Critique of Dialectical Reason, Sartre argues that it is the milieu of scarcity that generates human conflict. His account of scarcity is rather ambiguous however, and at points he seems to claim that conflict is inevitable given the context of scarcity. In this article I provide a brief account of Sartre's position, and offer a critical evaluation of that position. Finally, I argue that Sartre's claims regarding the necessity of conflict are excessive, and that the resources provided in the Critique offer a means to re-evaluate our relationship to scarcity.


Accepted version. Sartre Studies International, Vol. 14, No. 2 (Winter 2008): 48-70 (23). DOI. This is a post-peer-review, pre-copyedited version of an article published in Sartre Studies International. The definitive publisher-authenticated version is available online at: DOI.

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