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March 22 Phil Note.docx

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PHIL 115

Gabriel Marcel 1889-1973  20 and 21 century philosophy is extremely complex o There begins a rather wide gulf between English speaking and European philosophical world  Existentialist and phenomenologist  A good part of Nietzsche’s theories provide the starting point for him  Philosophies of existence = existentialist  What does it mean to be human, in the most fundamental sense?  What is the value of my own personal existence?  Phenomenology is a method of inquiry o Describe in the most rigorous way, how you experience the world o Describe the object of consciousness  A phenomenon is anything you can be aware of, thing about – doesn’t have to be an object o Make contact with, perceive, imagine, remember, dream, etc…  Spent WWI as a member of the red cross  Main professional occupation was drama critique in journals  Author of about 30 dramatic works  Converted to Roman Catholicism in 1939  Christian existentialist  Philosophy begins with experience, especially about human existence  Method works up from life to thought and down from thought to life again  We become too enamoured with ideas – we must bring those ideas back to earth to help us understand the nature of human existence Chapter 3  The job of the cultural physician is to see what the problem is with the world  The problem is: our age is one of nihilism  The spirit of abstraction (a principle)  Marcel is worried about what abstractions we are thinking in
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