Download The Existentialists: Critical Essays on Kierkegaard, by Charles Guignon PDF

By Charles Guignon

This quantity brings jointly for the 1st time essentially the most worthy and insightful essays at the 4 so much influential and mentioned philosophers within the background of existentialism: Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Heidegger, and Sartre.

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Additional info for The Existentialists: Critical Essays on Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Heidegger, and Sartre (Critical Essays on the Classics)

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In the intellectualist tradition, he attributed evil to ignorance. But at the same time his irony exposed the comic deficiency of theory unrelated to existence. Not only is pure speculation sterile, it fails intellectually as well. “When someone does not do what is right, then neither has he understood what is right” (SUD, 92). Ignoring Socrates’ warning, modern thought tends to reduce being to thinking. Descartes’s principle, Cogito, ergo sum,expresses a freely chosen rationalization of the real, rather than a necessary rule of thought.

A similar view of what is astonishing about Abraham is expressed in the statement that it is great to give up one’s desire, but it is greater to hold fast to it after having given it up; it is great to lay hold of the eternal, but it is greater to hold fast to the temporal after having given it up. ” Johannes locates “the absurd more precisely when he declares that he cannot take back the princess because he “continually” uses all his strength in resigning. The absurd enters the picture because the movement of faith does not end the movement of resignation, but must be made simultaneously with it.

Still, the use of the category of the individual for defining man’s dependence on God was no hasty adaptation of a modern concept to a traditional worldview. Underneath Kierkegaard’s often biased evaluation of contemporary culture we detect a keen perception of the profound changes Europe had undergone in a few years. In the short period since the beginning of the nineteenth century the romantic consciousness, with its initial emphasis on the individual, had given way to an objective-scientific one dominated by objective universality and a new social consciousness in which the group would hold priority over the individual.

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