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American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly

Edited by Thomas A. Michaud

Volume 80, Issue 3, Summer 2006
Gabriel Marcel

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1. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 80 > Issue: 3
Gabriel Marcel Abbreviations for Selected Works by Gabriel Marcel
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2. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 80 > Issue: 3
Thomas A. Michaud Introduction
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3. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 80 > Issue: 3
Michael Novak Marcel at Harvard
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This article originally appeared in The Commonweal (October 5, 1962): 31–3. Michael Novak, a graduate student at the time, met Marcel while he was at Harvard University to deliver the William James lectures in the fall of 1961. Those lectures were subsequently printed in the volume, The Existential Background ofHuman Dignity (1963). The article is reprinted here with the kind permission of Michael Novak and the Commonweal magazine.
4. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 80 > Issue: 3
Peter A. Redpath Gabriel Marcel and the Recovery of Philosophy in Our Time
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In this paper, I take for granted that, today, something is radically wrong metaphysically with Western culture. I maintain that this problem arises, as Marcelsays, from the very depths of our being. This paper’s purpose is to consider some aspects of Marcel’s metaphysical teaching, especially about our need tostart philosophizing in the concrete, not the abstract, situation, to battle against the spirit of abstraction, and use these reflections for the practical purpose ofconsidering what sorts of steps we need to take at the present moment to recover philosophical practice in the postmodern age. Within the context of this paper,I argue that Marcel is a realist humanist in the tradition of Plato and Aquinas whose battle against the spirit of abstraction is fundamentally a fight againstnominalism and sophistry.
5. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 80 > Issue: 3
Thomas R. Flynn Toward the Concrete: Marcel as Existentialist
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After reviewing how Jean Wahl interprets the early Marcel, specifically his Metaphysical Journal, in a seminal work whose title captured the philosophical spiritof the 1930s, Vers le concret (“Toward the Concrete”), I discuss the existentialist style of philosophizing, offer five criteria for judging a philosopher to be an existentialist and submit Marcel’s work to each. I turn to the appropriateness of calling him a neo-Socratic philosopher, an appellation he seemed to prefer, and conclude with some observations of how this mixture of the Socratic and the existentialist places Marcel in the lineage of those like Michel Foucault and Pierre Hadot who speak of philosophy less as a doctrine and more as a way of life.
6. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 80 > Issue: 3
Brian Treanor Constellations: Gabriel Marcel’s Philosophy of Relative Otherness
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This paper examines the postmodern question of the otherness of the other from the perspective of Gabriel Marcel’s philosophy. Postmodernity—typified by philosophical movements like deconstruction—has framed the question of otherness in all-or-nothing terms; either the other is absolutely, wholly other or the other is not other at all. On the deconstructive account, the latter position amounts to a kind of “violence” against the other. Marcel’s philosophy offers an alternative to this all-or-nothing model of otherness. His thought can satisfy the fundamental (and legitimate) ethical and philosophical concerns of postmodern thinkers without resorting to the paroxysmal hyperbole that characterizes philosophies of absolute otherness. Moreover, Marcel’s critique of the “spirit of abstraction” offers a unique perspective on what might motivate such paroxysmal hyperbole.
7. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 80 > Issue: 3
Thomas Anderson Gabriel Marcel on Personal Immortality
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The question of personal immortality is a central one for Gabriel Marcel. Early in his life he took part in parapsychological experiments which convincedhim that one could, rarely and with great difficulty, communicate with the dead. In a philosophical vein he argued that each self has an eternal dimension which isof eternal worth. This dimension is particularly manifest in self-sacrifice, where I find it meaningful to give my life for another and when I unconditionally commitment myself in love to another self. Marcel also cites the experience of trust or hope, and the experience that life is not an absurd freak accident of nature destined for eternal extinction but rather possesses absolute meaning and value. Yet, none of the above experiences involves certitude; one remains free to accept or reject them and what they claim to involve.
8. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 80 > Issue: 3
Brendan Sweetman Marcel on God and Religious Experience, and the Critique of Alston and Hick
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This article examines Gabriel Marcel’s unique approach to the existence of God, and its implications for traditional philosophy of religion. After some preliminary remarks about the realm of “problems” (which would include the “rational”), and about the question of whether Marcel thinks God’s existence admits of a rational argument, Part I explains his account of how the individual subject can arrive at an affirmation of God through experiences of fidelity and promise-making. Part II proposes a way in which Marcel’s own philosophical and phenomenological approach could be regarded as a type of argument for the existence of God. The last section suggests that Marcel’s approach offers an advance upon the views of William Alston and John Hick concerning the analysis of religious experience.
9. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 80 > Issue: 3
Patrick L. Bourgeois Marcel and Ricoeur: Mystery and Hope at the Boundary of Reason in the Postmodern Situation
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This article on mystery and hope at the boundary of reason in the postmodern situation responds to the challenge of postmodern thinking to philosophyby a recourse to the works of Gabriel Marcel and his best disciple, Paul Ricoeur. It develops along the lines of their interpretation of hope as a central phenomenon in human experience and existence, thus shedding light on the philosophical enterprise for the future. It is our purpose to dwell briefly on this postmodern challenge and then, incorporating its positive contribution, to present theirs as an alternative philosophy at the boundary of reason.
10. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 80 > Issue: 3
Thomas A. Michaud Gabriel Marcel’s Politics: Theory and Practice
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Gabriel Marcel is not typically read as a political theorist and social commentator. He never wrote a treatise devoted specifically to a systematic treatmentof politics. His writings, nevertheless, abound in political theorizing and social analysis. This study articulates Marcel’s socio-political thought, explicating itscoherence with his overall concrete philosophy and with his personal engagement in political events of his time. It develops through three themes. The first details Marcel’s particular approach to sociopolitical thought as a “watchman.” The second shows why Marcel offers a “hopeful communitarianism” which overcomes the problems of collectivism and individualism. The third delineates Marcel’s views on the concrete, socio-political, and ethical issues of peace and population control. A brief closing section explains the importance of politics in Marcelian scholarship and the “prophetic” quality of his thought.
11. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 80 > Issue: 3
Katharine Rose Hanley A Journey to Consciousness: Gabriel Marcel’s Relevance for the Twenty-First-Century Classroom
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In the post-September 11, 2001 world in which we live, French existentialist playwright and philosopher Gabriel Marcel’s works are especially relevant. Hisincreased popularity reflects both student and faculty interest in questions he raises about issues that remain vital concerns in our lives. Plays focusing on questions about life’s meaning, connected with insights from his philosophic essays, illustrate how Marcel engages personal reflection to clarify challenging situations. He uses dramatic imagination to investigate conflicting viewpoints, inviting the viewers to examine their unique experience of the issues portrayed. Thus his individual journey to consciousness welcomes others to develop their own. Today’s classrooms also benefit from a greater availability of Marcel’s translated works in the form of books, scripts, videos, CDs, and Readers’ Theatre performances.
books received
12. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly: Volume > 80 > Issue: 3
Books Received
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