Victims, Power and Intellectuals: Laruelle’ and Sartre

Constance L. Mui PhD, Loyola University New Orleans
Julien Murphy PhD, University of Southern Maine

Copyright (c) 2018 Constance L. Mui, Julien S. Murphy

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

PRINTED ISSN: 2410-4817

ONLINE ISSN: 1561-8927

Published with the support of the Cultural Department of the City of Vienna


In two recent works, Intellectuals and Power and General Theory of Victims, François Laruelle offers a critique of the public intellectual, including Jean-Paul Sartre, claiming such intellectuals have a disregard for victims of crimes against humanity. Laruelle insists that the victim has been left out of philosophy and displaced by an abstract pursuit of justice. He offers a non- philosophical approach that reverses the victim/intellectual dyad and calls for compassionate insurrection. In this paper, we probe Laruelle's critique of the committed intellectual's obligations to victims, specifically, through an examination of Sartre's "A Plea for Intellectuals." We hope to show the value of Laruelle's theory on victims, crime and power for imagining future-oriented intellectuals.