George Pattison: "Freedom, Being, and Love: Nothingness in Sartre, Heidegger, and Kierkegaard"

Freedom, being, or love: Nothingness in Sartre, Heidegger and Kierkegaard
'Nothingness' plays a central role in Sartre's account of human subjectivity, but it is also a term that is used by both Heidegger and to Kierkegaard. The paper explores the relationship between Kierkegaardian and Sartrean uses of nothingness, emphasizing the significant commonalities, before turning to the Heideggerian attempt, in the Introduction to Metaphysics, to take the experience of nothingness as a way of re-opening the question of Being. After a discussion of the possible relevance of some modern Buddhist perspectives, the paper returns to Kierkegaard and to his specifically religious use of the rhetoric of nothingness. In contrast to Sartrean freedom and Heideggerian ontology, this is seen as pointing to the primacy of love over both freedom and ontology.