Robert C. Solomon R.I.P.

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Reply Wed 7 Feb, 2007 06:59 pm
I was just ordering the anthology "Existentialism" compiled by Robert C. Solomon when I found out he died at Zurich International Airport on January 2nd. He had just published an article in the Chronicle entitled "Pessimism vs. Existentialism". Here's the link. What I think he's saying in the article is that Existentialism is or can be a life affirming philosophy and should not necessarily be intepreted as being a pessimistic philosophy. Anyway, so he's a giant when it comes to existentialism and when I get his book I'm going to dwell especially on his introductions to the subject.

Solomon indeed begins the book with an eleven page introductory essay. The book also includes writings of such luminaries as:

Kierkegaard
Ivan Turgenev
Dostoevsky
Nietzsche
Hermann Hesse
Heidegger
Gabriel Marcel
Karl Jaspers
Franz Kafka
Andre Gide
Albert Camus
Sartre
Maurice Merleau-Ponty
Martin Buber
Paul Tillich

Among others.

My goal is to work my way up to reading the book: "From Hegel to Nietzsche: The Revolution In Nineteenth-Century Thought" by Karl Lowith. And to come away from that book with a good grasp of 'the German spirit' which lead to the famous Nihilistic moment...

I had a choice a while back between a return to classical rationalism e.g. Plato, Aristotle, or Karl Lowith (historical dilemma) and decided to see where Lowith leads to. Lowith's book "From Hegel to Nietzsche" is a theological exposition of modern man via German intellectual history. My question going in is: what does a radical phenomenology of the modern spirit lead to? what does confronting the crises mean? What are the possibilities of Existentialism? What lies between "Being" and "Time"? etc.

In case anyone is interested here is a link to a review of Lowith's "From Hegel To Nietzsche" by John Bruin of the University of Guelph:

History and Historicism
 
Passer Outre
 
Reply Thu 8 Feb, 2007 10:23 am
@Pythagorean,
Solomon will be missed. As I look at my bookshelf now, I see him in several different spots along with Walter Kaufman. Bless the able translator/editor. My German was never strong enough to carry me through Nietzsche, and Kaufmann's and Solomon's notes saved me many a time.
 
Passer Outre
 
Reply Thu 8 Feb, 2007 10:35 am
@Pythagorean,
Pythagorean wrote:
I was just ordering the anthology "Existentialism" compiled by Robert C. Solomon when I found out he died at Zurich International Airport on January 2nd. He had just published an article in the Chronicle entitled "Pessimism vs. Existentialism". Here's the link. What I think he's saying in the article is that Existentialism is or can be a life affirming philosophy and should not necessarily be intepreted as being a pessimistic philosophy. Anyway, so he's a giant when it comes to existentialism and when I get his book I'm going to dwell especially on his introductions to the subject.


Read his Phenomenology and Existentialism after that--a fantastic compilation. Existentialism has been the most profound thought in my later life. I read the "Myth of Sisyphus" while working on my master's thesis in history, and it was as if the sky opened up (to use a tired expression). In all I've done since, the power and positive meaning of existential thought guides me.
 
 

 
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