…a.k.a. for the philosophy nerds out there: “The Philosophical Dualism of Money.”

One of my favorite books of all time is Jean-Paul Sartre’s Being and Nothingness. Published in 1943, the book is heralded as the landmark text of post-war French existentialism. Several years ago, I discovered the book due to a sparked curiosity from, separately, a friend and professor who both identified as existentialists. Before attempting to read the book, I prepped for the read with a “existential” reading list (Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Heidegger, Dostoevsky, Schopenhauer, Kafka, and Camus) to better my odds of understanding Being and Nothingness (B&N.)

One of the colossal insights I drew from the book is in the first ten pages, where Sartre distills all of philosophy’s most popular dualism debates (love vs. hate, earth vs. heaven, good vs. evil, free will vs. pre-determination, etc.) into one final dualism: the finite vs. the infinite.

Does this mean that by reducing the existent to its manifestations we have succeeded in overcoming all dualisms? It seems rather that we have converted them into a new dualism: that of finite and infinite. Yet the existent in fact can not be reduced to a finite series of manifestations since each one of them is a relation to a subject constantly changing. Although an object may disclose itself only through a single Abschatung, the sole fact of there being a subject implies the possibility of multiplying the points of view on that Abschattung. This suffices to multiply to infinity the Abschattung under consideration. Furthermore if the series of appearances were finite, that would mean that the first appearances do not have the possibility of reappearing, which is absurd, or that they can be all given at once, which is


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