General Orientation to Existentialism
Sku: 11300A0E050
Archival Number: CD/mp3 113
Author: Lonergan, B.
Language(s): English,
Decade: 1950

Description:
CD/mp3 113, part 1 of lecture 1 on existentialism 1957. Corresponds to CWL 18, pp. 219-33. Sponsored by Thomas J. Farrell. The lectures will concentrate mainly on broad tendencies common to the major existentialists, and will be concerned not only with the question, What is? but also with the question, What about? The principal figures are Jaspers, Heidegger, Sartre, and Marcel. The first fundamental feature discussed is 'being a man,' as something that results from a decision and so is consequent to the use of one's freedom. The issue is both anti-positivist and anti-idealist. Because one is ever being or becoming what one is to be, and because the use of freedom is precarious, the notion is closely connected with time and history. Jaspers in particular opens up the topic of history, especially with his notion of the axial period. While these notions are similar to affirmations of reality, morality, and freedom in Scholasticism, exiswtentialism is unconcerned with propositional truth. The concern is on the preconceptual source of the concept and judgment. Jaspers 'subject' gets close to a reality but not to one that is objectified. Existentialism is concerned with the human subject qua conscious, with the ground of the subject's own possibilities. The lecture concludes with summary statements on the work of Marcel and Jaspers.

 

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Audio restoration by Greg Lauzon

 

Transcription:

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