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EXISTENTIALISM : The Philosophy of Existence - Guido De RUGGIERO

Guido De Ruggiero's study succinctly yet comprehensively dissects this philosophy with an even balance of exposition and analysis. It clarifies the tenets of each thinker and provides an invaluable critique.

"I believe the time has come to draw up some kind of provisional judgement on the so-called philosophy of existence, in order to bring it back within the confines of reality." Guido De Ruggiero

The 1st Critique of Existentialism: The classic exposition and analysis of 'Existentialism' by the Italian philosopher and Historian of Philosophy Guido de Ruggiero, which clarifies tall of he essential tenets of the existentialist philosophers he discusses while at the same time providing a speculative critique as well. He does not claim to be providing a final assessment, but aims to provide fresh perspectives that will demystify what had been, then, as now, either stereotyped and misunderstood or uncritically accepted as final truth. The essay may be seen as an extension of his one-volume 'History of Modern Philosophy' which was translated by R.G. Collingwood and published in England 1921.

Contents of the Study: Although de Ruggiero presents it as one continuous essay, the present edition has been given chapter headings at each point where a distinct division was made by Ruggiero himself, so that the six chapters of "Existentialism" are in fact as follows:
- The Philosophy of Existence
- Soren Kierkegaard
- Martin Heidegger
- Karl Jaspers
- Gabriel Marcel
- An Historical Appraisal

Features of this Edition: An Introduction by Rayner Heppenstall entitled "The Documents in the Case", which provides its own history of and study of Existentialism (a superlative piece of scholarship in itself); Poirtraits of each of the Existentialists discussed; Fully re-edited translation by Rayner Heppenstall; Textual Annotations by de Ruggiero at the close of the work.

An Extract from this Book: "The Philosophy of Existence - I believe the time has come to draw up some kind of provisional judgement on the so-called philosophy of existence, in order to bring it back within the confines of its factual reality (or Dasein, as the new jargon would say) beyond which it is rapidly overflowing. At first sight it is a surprising thing to find a philosophy, whose inmost essence consists in a kind of philosophic revolution of nihilism, able to spread so rapidly and acquire such a noisy following in the most diverse cultural circles, among dishevelled youth no less than in the sedentary world of the professors. It is, everyone says, the philosophy of crisis. So, it is. But that is not a sufficient reason for its success. Because it is not a generic expression of the spiritual crisis through which we are passing but a nihilistic solution of the crisis itself, we cannot help noting among its promoters a sad sense of torment and anguish; parallel with that, an air of pleasure and satisfaction, a flavour of self-indulgence in the muddy depths of life, which the founders of the new philosophy have taken it on themselves to stir up. Among the young this attitude is understandable: they are children who like to paddle in the mud without knowing they are getting dirty, to the pure all things being pure. There is, moreover, something in existentialism which excites the imagination with the morbid curiosity of a thriller. For the heavy, somnolent categories of traditional philosophy, it substitutes new and imaginative symbols: 'incarnation', 'the bid', 'preoccupation', 'anguish', 'the leap', 'shipwreck', etc., which give to the happenings of our everyday world a turbid, romantic sense, at once attractive and repellent. The analogy with a thriller can be pushed further: in both cases there is an intermingling of elements which become more complicated and entangled as the story proceeds and which create in the mind of the reader a sense of spasmodic, evergrowing tension, but which then quite unexpectedly collapse, like a great blister when it is pricked by a pin, and the inanity of the epilogue resolves the preceding tension. Existentialism deals with existence in the manner of a thriller."

An amazing and rewarding, thought-provoking work of philosophy that has long been unavailable.

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