From the beginning to the end of his philosophizing, Sartre appears to have been concerned with "bad faith"—our "natural" disposition to flee from our freedom and to lie to ourselves. Virtually no aspect of his monumental system has generated more attention. Yet bad faith has been plagued by misinterpretation and misunderstanding. At the same time, Sartre's correlative concepts of "good faith" and "authenticity" have suffered neglect or insufficient attention, or been confused and wrongly identified by Sartre scholars, even by Sartre himself.
Ronald E. Santoni takes on the challenge of distinguishing these concepts, and of showing whether either or both existential "attitudes" afford deliverance from the hell of Sartre's bad faith. He offers the first fill-scale analysis, reconstruction, and differentiation of these ways of existing as they develop in Sartre's early works (1937-1947).
Although he attempts to redeem Sartre's slighted concept of good faith, Santoni warns that it must not be viewed interchangeably with authenticity. Further, in one of the earliest and most sustained studies of Sartre's Notebooks for an Ethics available in English, Santoni shows how Sartre's posthumously published notes for an "ethics of Salvation" confirm his differentiation and argument. The way out of Sartrean hell, Santoni insists, is authenticity—living "with fidelity" to our unjustifiable freedom and assuming responsibility for it.
The condition of modernity springs from that tension between science and the humanities that had its roots in the Enlightenment but reached its full flowering with the rise of twentieth-century technology. It manifests itself most notably in the crisis of individuality that is generated by the nexus of science, literature, and politics, one that challenges each of us to find a way of balancing our personal identities between our public and private selves in an otherwise estranging world. This challenge, which can only be expressed as "the struggle of modernity," perhaps finds no better expression than in C. P. Snow. In his career as novelist, scientist, and civil servant, C. P. Snow (1905-1980) attempted to bridge the disparate worlds of modern science and the humanities.
While Snow is often regarded as a late-Victorian liberal who has little to say about the modernist period in which he lived and wrote, de la Mothe challenges this judgment, reassessing Snow's place in twentieth-century thought. He argues that Snow's life and writings—most notably his Strangers and Brothers sequence of novels and his provocative thesis in The Two Cultures and the Scientific Revolution—reflect a persistent struggle with the nature of modernity. They manifest Snow's belief that science and technology were at the center of modern life.
The rootless Jew, wandering disconnected from history, homeland, and nature, was often the target of early twentieth-century nationalist rhetoric aimed against modern culture. But following World War II, a number of prominent French philosophers recast this maligned figure in positive terms, and in so doing transformed postwar conceptions of politics and identity.
Sarah Hammerschlag explores this figure of the Jew from its prewar usage to its resuscitation by Jean-Paul Sartre, Emmanuel Levinas, Maurice Blanchot, and Jacques Derrida. Sartre and Levinas idealized the Jew’s rootlessness in order to rethink the foundations of political identity. Blanchot and Derrida, in turn, used the figure of the Jew to call into question the very nature of group identification. By chronicling this evolution in thinking, Hammerschlag ultimately reveals how the figural Jew can function as a critical mechanism that exposes the political dangers of mythic allegiance, whether couched in universalizing or particularizing terms.
Both an intellectual history and a philosophical argument, The Figural Jew will set the agenda for all further consideration of Jewish identity, modern Jewish thought, and continental philosophy.
Kreeft takes the reader through the world of existentialist philosophy, posing questions that challenge the concepts that Sartre proposed. Based on an imagination dialogue between Socrates and Sartre that takes place in the afterlife, this profound and witty book makes an entertaining and informative exploration of modern philosophy
“Peter Kreeft’s work is (1) unfailingly brilliant, (2) intellectually agile, (3) astonishingly perspicacious, (4) gloriously orthodox, (5) Chestertonian aphoristic.” – Thomas Howard, author of On Being Catholic
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