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:
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