Fragments: Essays in Subjectivity, Individuality, and Autonomy

Algora Publishing
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The possibilities for philosophy have never been greater and more fruitful than now - and never more tragically squandered. Philosophy can become relevant once again, suggests Pedro Blas Gonzalez, if we drop the pointless analytical hair-splitting and self-referential word play, and the game of using it in an intellectual refutation of reality. No amount or degree of fashionable "theory" can succeed in negating reality... rather, philosophy's gifts shine through when we ask it to offer insight into questions of vital concerns for individuals. Despite the efforts of positivist thinkers to apply the methods of science to human consciousness, science and the humanities are not the same. Technical problems are closed-ended in scope, that is, they are solvable, whereas existential questions are open-ended and are to be re-discovered by everyone on their own terms. Technical questions are often easier to address and correct than human questions. And today, we look to science not so much for Truth as for an ever-expanding realm of technology. It is philosophy that can contribute to our understanding of our existence. Every human life - human existence, when viewed from the inside out - is a fragment of reality, but a central fragment nonetheless. The nobility of the philosophical vocation is best appreciated when it is viewed as a tool in the service of life. What is at stake, then, is nothing less than the soul of man, not as an empty caricature set up by "theory" and its creators, but as a vital possibility. In a series of essays Gonzalez takes a fresh look at the notion of subjectivity and the nature of the self, through the lenses of Phenomenology, Existentialism, and philosophical aspectsof literature. With references to the Sumerian legend of Gilgamesh, Socrates' attempts to ground all knowledge in self-knowledge, Gabriel Marcel's The Mystery of Being, Eric Ambler, and Camus and Sartre, he ponders mankind's efforts to address the existential problems that still confront every thoughtful person. This is a nuanced consideration of the wisdom to be found through literature, a call for "independence within interdependence," and an invitation to explore deeper levels of existence. * Pedro Blas Gonzalez is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Barry University in Miami. His areas of specialization include Continental philosophy, specifically: Phenomenology, Existentialism, and philosophical aspects of literature. His latest book, Human Existence as Radical Reality: Ortega's Philosophy of Subjectivity, was published by Paragon House, 2005.
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Publisher
Algora Publishing
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Published on
Dec 31, 2005
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Pages
187
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ISBN
9780875863719
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Language
English
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Genres
Literary Criticism / Semiotics & Theory
PHILOSOPHY / General
Philosophy / Criticism
Philosophy / Movements / Humanism
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This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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This book is first and foremost a detailed and meticulous study of Ortega y Gasset's The Revolt of the Masses (1930). No other up-to-date books explore this thinker and his great work. Most importantly, the author demonstrates the relevance and importance of Ortega y Gasset's thought and his The Revolt of the Masses for today's world, showing, for instance, how Ortega's categories like "mass man" and "decadence," have been vindicated by today's spiritual, moral and cultural decay. This aspect of the book will perhaps be of major interest to the reading public. What Ortega argues for in his brief history of philosophy is something that he has otherwise made explicit throughout his work, mainly his conviction that strictly speaking philosophy as an activity or manner of thinking that faces naked reality, holistically, ended long ago with the ancient Greeks. All subsequent philosophical endeavors have been merely a rehashing or an academic commentary on the pre-existing philosophical canon. This latter activity he saw as pertaining to the history of philosophy, but he did not regard it as philosophy. Philosophy, as a vital and life-forging way of life, he argued, had played out its originality, and thus had run its course, long ago. With a glossary of special terms as used by Ortega, and with references to Albert Camus, Gabriel Marcel, C.S. Lewis, Friedrich Nietzsche, Josef Pieper, and others, this work is a fundamental tool for any student of Ortega, of existentialism, and 20th-century European philosophy. Pedro Blas Gonzalez is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Barry University in Miami. His areas of specialization include Continental philosophy, specifically Phenomenology, Existentialism, and philosophical aspects of literature. His works include Fragments: Essays In Subjectivity, Individuality And Autonomy (Algora, 2005), and Human Existence as Radical Reality: Ortega's Philosophy of Subjectivity (Paragon House, 2005). Gonzalez holds a Ph.D. in Philosophy from DePaul University.
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