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March 26, 2013 Philosophy Note.docx

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Queen's University
PHIL 115

Gabriel Marcel Reflection  Skeptical of the whole human philosophy o When you’re sick you seek professional help o However there is no solution, only an endless number of people who will provide you with a solution  He believes things like evil are a problem; like the government where we can fix it o After 9/11 there was a lot of talk about evil, and what can we do to solve this problem o Evil isn’t an obstacle in our path, it’s a part of us  A problem is something we stand to at arm’s length o An obstacle in our path, that we have to get around or over o Something we confront  Mystery isn’t something separate from us, it’s a part of who we are  A mystery is a part of our being, no difference between us and it o Love is not an obstacle in our path, it defines how we look at things  We try to find solutions for problems but aren’t able too, but the point is to cope with it and manage with it o You’re going to die one day and you can’t fix that, you can cope and manage that by finding what that experience means but you can’t fix it  What’s the method then? If we go in search of a solution for a problem, there’s a method. o There is no method, when we try to understand the meaning of things, we work without a method o The most important questions we ask, we don’t have a method of dealing with, instead we have to cope with them  No one can solve anything for you, even the most important questions aren’t answerable by anyone except you o What’s the meaning of my life? – only you can answer  Because Marcel was writing this after 2 world wars, he has an emphasis on what will happen with freedom, the nature of it, what conditions in modern life stand against freedom o He is primarily a critical thinker  Freedom o He believes the human freedom is in trouble, not only because of the rise of fascism but for deeper reasons o Basic problem is that he believes our freedom is eroding without our knowledge o Whats important to the individual is for them to live under their own ideas, which is now eroding o Security is also being eroded slowly without our knowledge  National security, energy security, why do we talk so much about it, and has it always been this way? o If you believe in a kind of religion, that is the ultimate source of your security th  for many centuries people lived that way, however in the 20 century
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