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Does history produce discernible meaning? Are human struggles intelligible? These questions form the starting-point for the second volume of Sartre’s Critique of Dialectical Reason. Drafted in 1958 and published in France in 1985, this magisterial work first appeared in English in 1991 and now reappears with a major new introduction by Fredric Jameson.
Volume Two’s theoretical framework is a logical extension of the predecessor’s. As in Volume One, Sartre proceeds by moving from the simple to the complex: from individual combat (through a perceptive study of boxing) to the struggle of subgroups within an organized group form and, finally, to social struggle, with an extended analysis of the Bolshevik Revolution. The book concludes with a forceful reaffirmation of dialectical reason: of the dialectic as ‘that which is truly irreducible in action’.