THE EXPERIENCE OF DEATH and The Moral Problem of Suicide - by Paul-Louis LANDSBERG
A timeless study of the 'Experience of Death' by a thinker who was to die early in a German concentration camp. He writes with freshness and vitality rarely met with in works of philosophy. Also includes 'The Moral Problem of Suicide'.
"The human race is the only one that knows it must die, and it knows this only through its experience." Voltaire
About this Book: One of the great works of Twentieth Century Philosophy, its investigation and analysis of the "Experience of Death" is as important as that of Martin Heidegger in his 'Being and Time', though for many years unavailable and therefore underestimated. Paul-Louis Landsberg wa part of the group embracing Sartre, Camus and de Beauvoir. Landsberg approaches his subject-matter from the Christian point-of-view as well as from that of a secular existentialist. He was himself a Christian yet he did not force this belief upon readers through his writing. This is a book that makes a deep impact upon anyone who dares to accompany the author on his dark yet exciting exploration of the ultimate 'end'.
About the Author: Paul-Louis Landsberg was born in Bonn in 1901. Having completed his studies he went on to become Professor of Philosophy at the University of this City, however, due to his opposition to Nazism he fled Germany one day before the coming to power of Hitler in 1933. Between 1934 and 1936 he held lecturing positions in Madrid and Barcelona, where his thought exerted a great influence over his pupils and where it is still studied avidly to this day. However, with the coming of the Civil War in Spain Landsberg transferred to Paris where he gave courses at the Sorbonne on the meaning of existence, at which time he also became closely involved with the journal 'Esprit', where his thought was very influential. At this time he also became friends with the 'Personalist' philosopher Emmanuel Mounier, whose themes were similar to those studied in his own works. A friend of Max Scheler's, and a disciple of some of his phenomenological methods, Landsberg was like him a Christian. He was hounded by the Gestapo for a long period of time and In 1943 Landsberg was deported from Paris for being of Jewish origin. He was transported to the Work Camp at Oranienburg, Berlin. He died of exhaustion in 1944.
Features of this Edition: The Complete Texts of both these key works of Landsberg. Textual Annotations throughout; Brief Note on the Author; Select Bibliography of his works. Remember, not only the 'Experience of Death', but his equally important Essay 'On the Moral Problem of Suicide' features here.
Extract from this Book: "WHAT is the meaning of death to the human being as a person? The question admits of no conclusion, for we are dealing with the very mystery of man, taken from a certain aspect. Every real problem in philosophy contains all the others in the unity of mystery. It is necessary, therefore, to set a limit and seek a basis in experience for any possible answer : there are always problems of the utmost importance left on one side. Our enquiry would seem inevitable in the present state of philosophy, for we are far from having a metaphysics of death, as we have of life . . ."
Contents of Landsberg's Two Essays:
[The Experience of Death]
I. The State of the Question
II. The Limitations of Scheler's Answer
III. Individualism and the Experience of Death
IV. The Death of a Friend,
and the Experience of "Repetition"
V. The Ontological Basis
VI. The Death of a Friend, according to the Fourth
Book of the Confessions of St. Augustine
VII. The Forms of Experience of Death
VIII. Intermezzo in the Bull Ring
IX. The Christian Experience of Death
[The Moral Problem of Suicide]
1. Traditional Arguments
2. A Personal View
A Special Book: There is no other Existential Analysis of Death like this one. The only comparable text is the treatment of Death by Martin Heidegger in his book 'Sein und Zeit' (Being and Time) to which the reader may also want to refer. Landsberg's work really is "one-of-a-kind".