The Cambridge Companion to Existentialism

The Cambridge Companion to Existentialism

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Description

Existentialism exerts a continuing fascination on students of philosophy and general readers. As a philosophical phenomenon, though, it is often poorly understood, as a form of radical subjectivism that turns its back on reason and argumentation and possesses all the liabilities of philosophical idealism but without any idealistic conceptual clarity. In this volume of original essays, the first to be devoted exclusively to existentialism in over forty years, a team of distinguished commentators discuss the ideas of Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Heidegger, Sartre, Merleau-Ponty and Beauvoir and show how their focus on existence provides a compelling perspective on contemporary issues in moral psychology and philosophy of mind, language and history. A further sequence of chapters examines the influence of existential ideas beyond philosophy, in literature, religion, politics and psychiatry. The volume offers a rich and comprehensive assessment of the continuing vitality of existentialism as a philosophical movement and a cultural phenomenon.show more

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About Steven Crowell

Steven Crowell is Joseph and Joanna Nazro Mullen Professor of Philosophy and Chair of the Philosophy Department at Rice University. He is the author of Husserl, Heidegger, and the Space of Meaning (2001) and the editor of The Prism of the Self: Philosophical Essays in Honor of Maurice Natanson (1995) and, with Jeff Malpas, of Transcendental Heidegger (2001). He currently edits the journal Husserl Studies.show more

Table of contents

Part I. Introduction: Introduction; 1. Existentialism and its legacy Steven Crowell; Part II. Existentialism in Historical Perspective: 2. Existentialism as a philosophical movement David E. Cooper; 3. Existentialism as a cultural movement William McBride; Part III. Major Existentialist Philosophers: 4. Kierkegaard's single individual and the point of indirect communication Alastair Hannay; 5. 'What a monster then is man': Pascal and Kierkegaard on being a contradictory self and what to do about it Hubert L. Dreyfus; 6. Nietzsche: after the death of God Richard Schacht; 7. Nietzsche: selfhood, creativity, and philosophy Lawrence J. Hatab; 8. Heidegger: the existential analytic of Dasein William Blattner; 9. The antinomy of being: Heidegger's critique of humanism Karsten Harries; 10. Sartre's existentialism and the nature of consciousness Steven Crowell; 11. Political existentialism: the career of Sartre's political thought Thomas R. Flynn; 12. Simone de Beauvoir's existentialism: freedom and ambiguity in the human world Kristana Arp; 13. Merleau-Ponty on body, flesh, and visibility Taylor Carman; Part IV. The Reach of Existential Philosophy: 14. Existentialism as literature Jeff Malpas; 15. Existentialism and religion Merold Westphal; 16. Racism is a system: how existentialism became dialectical in Fanon and Sartre Robert Bernasconi; 17. Existential phenomenology, psychiatric illness, and the death of possibilities Matthew Ratcliffe and Matthew Broome; Bibliography of works cited; Index.show more

Review quote

'This volume will be most useful to students for the overview chapters, and for the substantial amount of discussion of Sartre's ideas and political activities.' Michel Petheram, Reference Reviewsshow more

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