The Philosophy of Gabriel Marcel
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By Kenneth T. Gallagher
A paradox resides at the heart of the philosophy of Gabriel Marcel. That paradox, writes Kenneth T. Gallagher, is this: “Elusiveness is an essential constituent of his thought, and any exposition which sought to eliminate it would be self-defeating.” Any competent and coherent study of Marcel’s thought requires a deep dive into this paradox in order to locate its source and thus realize its meaning. In these pages, Gallagher brings that source to light with a patience progression through the catalog of themes, ideas, and images in Marcel’s philosophy as well as his beloved dramatic works. The result is a lodestar for Marcel’s thought in all its uncharted, oceanic immensity.
Read with absorption in the pages of this philosopher and you find a primordial image spontaneously arising in the mind: the image of a winding path. This man’s thought is a winding path: here is the original certitude.… We know that the metaphor applies, and applies profoundly, before we know why it applies.
The first comprehensive study of Marcel’s thought to be published in the United States, The Philosophy of Gabriel Marcel endures as the introduction par excellence to the absorbing and authentic world of Gabriel Marcel—a philosopher for our impersonal age.