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1. The Philosophy and Literature
2. Existentialism For Dummies (For
3. Irrational Man: A Study in Existential
4. A Companion to Phenomenology and
5. Existentialism: The Philosophy
6. Lack and Transcendence: The Problem
7. Existentialism: A Reconstruction
8. Existentialism (Philosophy Insights)
9. The Philosophy Of Existentialism
10. The Philosophy of Jean-Paul Sartre
11. Idealism and Existentialism: Hegel
12. Modern French Philosophy: From
13. Basic Concepts of Ancient Philosophy
14. Phenomenology and Existentialism
15. An Introduction to Existentialism
16. Modern Movements in European Philosophy:
17. Existentialism: An Introduction,
18. From Rationalism to Existentialism:
19. Existentialist Philosophy: An
20. Heidegger and the Project of Fundamental

1. The Philosophy and Literature of Existentialism
by Wesley Barnes
Paperback: 256 Pages (1968-01-01)
list price: US$15.95 -- used & new: US$11.36
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Asin: 0764191543
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A synthesis of the historical, philosophical, and literary aspects of Existentialism. Offers effective review and reference material for courses in contemporary literature and philosophy. ... Read more

2. Existentialism For Dummies (For Dummies (Religion & Spirituality))
by Christopher Panza, Gregory Gale
Paperback: 384 Pages (2008-08-04)
list price: US$19.99 -- used & new: US$8.95
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Asin: 0470276991
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Have you ever wondered what the phrase “God is dead” means? You’ll find out in Existentialism For Dummies, a handy guide to Nietzsche, Sartre, and Kierkegaard’s favorite philosophy. See how existentialist ideas have influenced everything from film and literature to world events and discover whether or not existentialism is still relevant today.

You’ll find an introduction to existentialism and understand how it fits into the history of philosophy. This insightful guide will expose you to existentialism’s ideas about the absurdity of life and the ways that existentialism guides politics, solidarity, and respect for others. There’s even a section on religious existentialism. You’ll be able to reviewkey existential themes and writings. Find out how to:

  • Trace the influence of existentialism
  • Distinguish each philosopher’s specific ideas
  • Explain what it means to say that “God is dead”
  • See culture through an existentialist lens
  • Understand the existentialist notion of time, finitude, and death
  • Navigate the absurdity of life
  • Master the art of individuality

Complete with lists of the ten greatest existential films, ten great existential aphorisms, and ten common misconceptions about existentialism, Existentialism For Dummies is your one-stop guide to a very influential school of thought. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (7)

1-0 out of 5 stars not what it seemed
I bought this book as used - good condition. It is missing the cheat sheet which was listed as included on the packing slip, though that's not a huge deal..... the fact that the corner of the book has apparently been chewed by a dog and pieces are missing from the corner of many of the pages would indicate not GOOD condition. I have no time to order a different one since my reason for purchasing this book was due to an assignment in my philosophy class. Not overly pleased with this purchase.

2-0 out of 5 stars Not of interest
I was unimpressed with this oversized almost 499 page book because it has so much chaf and not enough depth about the philosphers, their lives, ideas and writings. The authors would start to write about a philospher and drift off into tangents that seemed repetitive from chapter to chapter. There is nothing in depth here and you are better off reading authors like Walter Kaufmann for breath and depth and interest.

4-0 out of 5 stars Even the diagrams help.
The series and the name do not go together, but for tough subjects to understand, this series is one of the best. There are sections that one can skip entirely and not hurt the reader. I have had several philosophy courses and even a Media Criticism course where the subject and definition of Post Modernism were discussed. To this day I cannot give a good explanation of what Post Modernism is, however there is a diagram of it in this book which helps. The sections of Nietzsche and Sartre are the ones to be covered and highlighted. I always looked for a good label to describe me and atheist always fell short of what I wanted to define me. Existentialist is a great label to describe me and now with the help of this book I can tell people what an existentialist is and believes. Overall good book for a tricky subject. It is not the only book to read, but a great place to start for anyone wanting to understand something that is difficult even when in a college setting.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Very Fine Piece of Work, and Not just for Dummies
As a self-proclaimed existentialist, I thought it was about time to understand what it is I profess to believe in. For some reasons (not all obvious even to me) I have gravitated to the Existentialist Philosophers, because their explanations of the world just feels more right, more honest and closer to "ground truth" to me than any other philosophies.And also I guess, because, once one has sampled Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Heidegger, Sartre, Ernest Becker, and Cornel West, unless he is profoundly religious or insane, he is likely to be completely absorbed by their deeply passionate (and, Heidegger aside) clearly explained views. So I chose to start at the bottom and work my way back up to the top of the ladder.

I was thus quite pleasantly surprised to discover this very fine "How To" book for dummies summarizing beautifully all one needs to know about my newly adopted philosophy, Existentialism.With what I already knew from sampling other readings, this book put all of the fragments of the puzzle in place, into one coherent framework. And for that I will forever be grateful to these authors.

What is Existentialism?

It is according to this book a philosophy that says essentially that the world in the raw is absurd. When the doctor spanks air into our lungs, we wail because we have come fearfully into a disordered, isolated, alienated, stress-producing, cold, dependent and basically neurotic and profoundly absurd world. It is absurd for the ten reasons outlined in this book and for so many others not mentioned, not the least of them being that the world is not teleological: that is, it has no purpose whatsoever. And once here, we flounder around purposelessly and aimlessly in darkness in search of light through meaning, and whether or not we find it, we then die. That's it, period; end of story: As Ernest Becker puts it so elegantly in the book of the same name, life is "The Birth and Death of meaning." That's all there is to it period.

As we try to navigate our way around in the darkness, we create our own meaning as a way of trying to make sense of a fearful, cold and disordered world. But this attempt by us only makes the world even more absurd. Our mind, mostly through the perceptions it affords us as a window onto reality, is the only survival tool we come into the world equipped with. And as we harness the fruits of our perceptions, we immediately began to reify them, trying to get beyond and transcend their limitations: the neurotically filtered reality that our own mind has created. Nothing could be more absurd than trying to "pretend" that this self-defined representation crafted out of the language of our perceptions, mostly to ward-off fear and disorder, somehow is the same as reality itself?

We thus learn to play "pretend reality games" fashioned out of language. We train ourselves socially and culturally to believe that these exercises in the formulation of meaning through language, somehow transcends the very symbols that give those same meanings, life and form. Existence for us thus seems like little more that a child's game played with the symbols of language.

Yet, deep in our heart of hearts we know that the meaning we make through language is not all there is. We know that no matter how much we may reify them, and try to stretch them beyond their own limited boundaries, our meanings are but a desperately delusional trick we have learned to play on ourselves.A great deal of the life of humans is thus about creating such "reality tricks" and "playing such reality games" to fool ourselves about the "truth" of the reality "out there." In the end, all of our "reality projects" are guaranteed to fail. They are in the end just self-imposed tricks to give us the illusion that we can somehow transcend the ultimate limitation: our finitude. They are, it is safe to say, profoundly and intentionally self-delusional.

As the comedian Richard Pryor has put it best: The ultimate test is whether we can survive death? So far, no one we know has passed that test. So no matter how sophisticated and complex our neurotic machinery may be, or the reality games that it spews, become we know that in the end our immortality tricks will not work.We can invent myths, in which we make ourselves its heroes; and we can build elaborate monuments to ourselves, but in the end there are no tricks or immortality projects that will allow us to overcome death. Existentialism reminds us that our reality, our meanings and our elaborate language games are just individual or collective self-defined projects in self-delusion, and little more. And in the end, that is of course the ultimate absurdity.

Despite being unable to overcome death, we must nevertheless be responsible to ourselves, and muddle through life trying to live an authentic life in the gap between the fearful reality "out there" and the meanings we make to negotiate the larger reality. We cannot overcome death by painting pretty word pictures, or by building monuments to ourselves.No matter what other philosophies say, no matter what the religious prophets say, no matter how expensive our headstones may be, death will not go away. There is no light at the end of the tunnel.The only hope is that we negotiate the journey honestly facing the truth of both the reality "out there" and our inner limitations; and to do both without fear and self-delusion.

Five Stars

5-0 out of 5 stars Good Overview
This is a good overview of Existentialism and is well explained. I've spent some time trying to figure this stuff out and I've always come away thinking, "I think this is what he is trying to say", but I wasn't always sure. I also needed to read a lot of stuff and the gist was often lost. I'm glad that Heidegger was included - even though he claimed he was not an existentialist (he was wrong-I think). I think this is a very good place to start - before you struggle with the original material. I highly recommend this book. ... Read more

3. Irrational Man: A Study in Existential Philosophy
by William Barrett
Paperback: 314 Pages (1990-01-01)
list price: US$15.00 -- used & new: US$7.98
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Asin: 0385031386
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Widely recognized as the finest definition of existentialist Philosophy, this book introduced existentialism to America in 1958. Barrett discusses the views of 19th and 20th century existentialists Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Heidegger, and Sartre and interprets the impact of their thinking on literature, art, and philosophy. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (30)

5-0 out of 5 stars We exist. Deal with it.
Years ago, this book convinced me to throw Atlas Shrugged out the window. It is on my top ten list of works that have personally influenced me. Along with George Orwell's essay Notes on Nationalism, Irrational Man has instilled in me a deep distrust of systems that provide easy and simple solutions, but it did so without turning me into a cynic.

Why are we here, what's it all for, what's the meaning of life? Are these empty questions? I think they are but where does the obsession to answer them come from? What can we do to satisfy this urge? The Existentialists sought to answer these questions and now their program is pretty much over, but did it fail or succeed? I'd say both.

Existentialism fails utterly in providing a clear picture of what Man is. It doesn't resolve our angst, it doesn't tell us where we fit in the universe. On the other hand, Existentialists had the courage to ask these questions out loud at a time when physics and engineering seemed to be making us Masters of the Universe.

Barrett first makes a successful case for modern art. Abstract art was quite controversial even as recently as the 50s but Barrett argues that artists could not have produced anything else. Certainly they could have copied the styles of the Renaissance masters, but such work would have been stale, limp, lifeless. We then are shown the limits of reason. When politicians were extolling the virtue of the "clean" hydrogen bomb and when all accepted the assertion, something just had to be wrong. We had mastered things but finding we were on the brink of self destruction and that it was our own fault, could we say that we had we mastered ourselves?

The next section looks at four philosophers that represent Existentialism as it stood in 1957: Soren Kierkegaard, Friedrich Nietzsche, Martin Heidegger, and Jean-Paul Sartre.

Kierkegaard and Nietzsche particularly deserve our attention. They lived through, in the 19th century, their own personal angst ridden existential crisis, well before the malaise spread to more and more people in the 1940s and 1950s. They were not academic philosophers but they had mastered academic technique and it is by choice and necessity that they expressed themselves as passionately as they did. Their answers were diametrically opposed: Kierkegaard's was to have Faith, while Nietzsche's was that God was dead.

Heidegger had many years of active life left to him when Irrational Man was published, so perhaps Barrett can be forgiven his enthusiasm for this pseudo-philosopher superstar. At least he does a good job of explaining clearly what it was that bothered Heidegger:

"... a table is an article of furniture; articles of furniture are human artifacts; human artifacts are physical things; and then, with the next jump of generalization, I can say of this table merely that it is a being, a thing. "Being" is the ultimate generalization I can make, and therefore the most abstract term I can apply to it, and it gives no useful information about the table at all."

If Heidegger had stopped there, everything would have been fine. Arguing about the meaning of the copulative verb "To Be" yields no wisdom at all. Instead of accepting this answer Heidegger throughout his career deconstructed language for thousands of pages, trying to convince us that this most general of abstraction needs to be abstracted again, that we must go back 2500 years to the dawn of philosophy and change our minds. That's tripe. Verbiage isn't an answer and Heidegger belongs in the dustbin.

Sartre, another philosophy superstar, fares better. As an academic philosopher he was as guilty of meaningless drivel as Heidegger was, but as a playwright and novelist he illustrated the angst of his time with force and clarity.

Barrett does close with an answer and to my mind it justifies the entire Existentialist project. He relates the story of the Furies from the plays of Aeschylus. Orestes killed his mother to avenge her murder of his father, but the primal instinct against matricide is older than society and reason so the Furies, being ancient earth goddesses, move to tear Orestes apart. Apollo intercedes on behalf of Orestes, but the parties find themselves in a stalemate. Athena intervenes to resolve the issue. Orestes is saved but humbled before the Furies. We must respect these ancient urges and instincts within ourselves; we must acknowledge our animal nature rather than repress it. We cannot reason away our urges.

The existentialist project doesn't tell us who we are or what our place in our universe is. I think no philosophy can do that; such questions are unanswerable. But it does tell us what we can do. We exist, we must deal with that.

Vincent Poirier, Tokyo

5-0 out of 5 stars "The best English introduction to the subject [of Existentialism]"
Leo Strauss, in 1958, said that William Barrett's "Irrational Man" "is...the best English introduction to the subject [of Existentialism]." Existentialism is oneform of radical historicism (or historical relativism) that came before its most recent manifestation, postmodernism. The cardinal thinker of radical historicism (or historical relativism) in both forms is the Nazi Martin Heidegger (1889-1976) whose masterwork is Being and Time (e.g. the Introduction and Section 44c).

3-0 out of 5 stars got what I paid for
I paid avery reasonable price but the book was in a somewhat worn condition .it is probably going to fall apart before long. i should have bought a newer version.just thought I would let you know. Patty

5-0 out of 5 stars thumbs way up
A great introduction to existentialism.Easy to read.I read and re-read various sections for pleasure.

5-0 out of 5 stars Wow
What a great book to bring someone into exelstentialism.While Barrett has a slight bias towards Kierkegard and Nietzsche he makes great connections between romanticism and the precursors to modernity.Great quick read that has some great insights. ... Read more

4. A Companion to Phenomenology and Existentialism (Blackwell Companions to Philosophy)
Paperback: 624 Pages (2009-05-04)
list price: US$52.95 -- used & new: US$40.42
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Asin: 1405191139
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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A Companion to Phenomenology and Existentialism is a complete guide to two of the dominant movements of philosophy in the twentieth century.

  • Written by a team of leading scholars, including Dagfinn Føllesdal, J. N. Mohanty, Robert Solomon, Jean-Luc Marion
  • Highlights the area of overlap between the two movements
  • Features longer essays discussing each of the main schools of thought, shorter essays introducing prominent themes, and problem-oriented chapters
  • Organised topically, around concepts such as temporality, intentionality, death and nihilism
  • Features essays on unusual subjects, such as medicine, the emotions, artificial intelligence, and environmental philosophy
... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars A welcome and important focus
This volume is a welcome addition to Blackwell's excellent series of "companions" to philosophical figures and schools.Its focus is important--it acknowledges implicitly that phenomenology has a variety of dimensions, but also that existentialism played a key role in the development of phenomenology.It also insists, rightly, that existentialism should not be understood outside of its phenomenological roots.Dreyfus and Wrathall are a marvelous team in their own writing, and they have done their usual impeccable job gathering clear-thinking and clear-writing scholars to produce a truly helpful volume for students of philosophy at all levels. ... Read more

5. Existentialism: The Philosophy of Despair and the Quest for Hope (Christian free university curriculum)
by Stephen Evans
 Paperback: 138 Pages (1984)
list price: US$9.95 -- used & new: US$12.75
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Asin: 0310437415
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6. Lack and Transcendence: The Problem of Death and Life in Psychotherapy, Existentialism, and Buddhism
by David Loy
Paperback: 218 Pages (2001-04)
list price: US$35.98 -- used & new: US$22.87
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Asin: 1573927201
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Whatever the differences in their methods and goals, psychotherapy, existentialism, and Buddhism are concerned with the same fundamental issues of life and death and death-in-life. In this unique work, David Loy brings all three traditions together for the first time in a synthesis receptive to the insights of each, thereby casting fresh light on familiar problems. Written in a clear, jargon-free style that does not assume prior familiarity with the topics discussed, this insightful book will appeal to a variety of readers including psychotherapists, psychoanalysts, psychologists, scholars of religion - particularly of Buddhism - Continental philosophers, and literary and culture critics. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars A theoretical capstone
This is a truly amazing book, and I certainly hope that there are eventually some new developments in psychotherapy that come from this text.I think some are already brewing.First, I won't spoil it, but the author finds our ultimate fear--and it's not death, although death is a close second.This ultimate fear drives all of our ego-machinations and makes the ego want to keep itself around--and part of that process is finding something, anything, more concrete and 'real' to fear and defend against.However, from a Buddhist perspective, there is really 'no one' there, so by implication the target of intervention, at least eventually, is to make the ego more translucent and/or dissolve it.It helped me to think of the so-called 'ego' as some very ingrained, well-learned mental processes that have gotten good at cooperating and 'feeling like' a 'self.'I think those who will like this book are already starting to the get the idea...and should read it--twice!

5-0 out of 5 stars Zen, Psychology, Phenomenology.
I am a psychotherapist with a long history of involvement in phenomenology (mostly interested in the worksk of Heidegger). I was attracted to Buddhism though a couple of years ago and stumbled onto David Loy's work. David has a number of books out, one on non-duality, a couple extending his notions of "Lack" to the socio-political arena. All are innovative, interesting, accessible and for my money, extreemly important. I highly recommend this book, though people intersted in philosophy and/or psychology are probably going to warm to it the most quickly. Or... if you are interested in Buddhist thinking (especially those interested in Zen), this is an invaluable book. I have found that I have to read maybe 6 or 8 books about Zen to find one that really stands out. Over the past couple of years, my bookshevles have bowed under the wieght of new Zen books. But Loy's works stand out like few others. I hope this book provides you with the same kind of psychological "glue" it did me. Buy it, and happy reading.

5-0 out of 5 stars Superb
Although David Loy's touchstones in Western thought are Nietzche, Freud, and Heidegger, this book does not require any extensive familiarity with these figures (as a person trained in Anglo-American analytic philosophy, I wouldn't know a Heidegger if fell over one!). In any case, Loy investigates the idea that the basis for much of our unease and dysfunctional behavior is not so much fear of future death, as Freud thought, but rather a sneaking suspicion that we have no substantial self, that we are not really real, but rather, as the Buddhists teach, a kind of convenient fiction. It is a treat to follow Loy as he follows up on the implications of this possibility, and I think that even those without an interest in Buddhism will find themselves reflecting deeply on their own lives and on some of the institutionalized forms of craziness that affect modern society. This book has stimulated my thinking like very few others, and I strongly recommend it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Phenomenal
I encountered this book in the University ofMassachusetts library.I usually don't go in for books thatdeal with "Western" philosophy in-depth, but something aboutit made me check it out.I'm so glad I did.

It's a fantastic book.Loy contrasts the Buddhistoutlook to the outlooks of some Western thinkers (Freud,Nietzsche, Heidegger, etc) . It was a good feeling to seesketched out the relationship between myreligion and modernphilosophy, that they were motivated by the same questions buthave come to different responses.This was one of the few booksthat have given me an "aha!" experience, where lots of disparatethings fall into place and start to make sense.

You don't need to have a lot of background in philosophy, either Western or Buddhist, to appreciate this book;the authorgoes into enough detail about each field to bring a novice up tospeed.If you're an American or European Buddhist and/or youhave ever wondered how Buddhism relates to mainstream Westernthought, you should definitely read this book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Book now available in paperback
Contrary to the 'out of print' notice, this book is now available in paperback (since December 2000) from Humanity Books, an imprint of Prometheus Books.

I rate this book a 5, but then I'm biased -- I'm the author! ... Read more

7. Existentialism: A Reconstruction (Introducing Philosophy)
by David E. Cooper
Paperback: 232 Pages (1999-06-25)
list price: US$34.95 -- used & new: US$27.07
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Asin: 0631213236
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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First published in 1990, Existentialism is widely regarded as a classic introductory survey of the topic, and has helped to renew interest in existentialist philosophy.Utilizing recently published primary sources, David E.Cooper provides a sympathetic, original account of a mainstream movement of philosophical thought, reconstructed from the best writing of Heidegger, Sartre, Merleau-Ponty and others.Existentialism is viewed as the attempt to"overcome" various forms of alienation: from the world, one another and oneself.The early chapters describe the existential phenomenology, on the basis of which the dualisms of Cartesian metaphysics are "dissolved".Discussions of the self and others, and of "Angst" and absurdity, lead into chapters on existential freedom and the prospects for an existentialist ethics.Writers discussed include Husserl, Jaspers, Buber, Marcel, and Ortega.The author places existentialism within the great traditions of philosophy, and argues that it deserves as much attention from analytic philosophers as it has always received on the continent. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (5)

David E. Cooper

(Oxford, UK: Blackwell, 1999---second edition) 220 pages
(ISBN: 0-631-21322-8; hardcover)
(ISBN: 0-631-21323-6; paperback)
(Library of Congress call number: B819.C62 1999)

The main virtue of this book is that it is readily available.
It is a competent review of the main ideas of existentialism
by a man who is now a professor of philosophy.
It was originally published in 1990, when I first read it.
I have read it again in the new edition, hoping for improvements,
but the book remains basically the same,
with an appendix added, which answers the claim
that Heidegger and Sartre are substantially different.

The first half of the book deals with the philosophical background.
And when Cooper finally gets around
to the new themes presented in existentialism,
he gives only a superficial analysis.
For example, his analysis of angst, death, and absurdity
are not nearly as deep as presented in Our Existential Predicament,
which I should admit was written by this reviewer.

For all readers who are hoping for
a passionately existential book on existentialism,
this book will be a disappointment.
It is an academic rather than an existential approach to the subject.
The author remains an observer of existentialism from outside,
rather than a living person whose life has been changed
by existential insights and perspectives.

Nevertheless, it could be a good place to begin reading
for someone who knows nothing about existentialism.
Just don't let your whole impression of existentialism
be formed by this one book.

James Leonard Park, existential philosopher

4-0 out of 5 stars ...Not for blokes....
David E. Cooper shows how many of the popular views on existentialism are actually misconceptions about the philosophy - this book is very helpful in dispelling the dictionary definition of existentialism.The idea that Existentialism is irrational or an anti-rational form of philosophy is shown to be an incorrect interpretation of what existential thought is about. Cooper shows that the existentialists where not against reason or rational thought but where really against a narrow form of rationalism -also empiricism-which attempted, through non-involvement in the human world, to gain a god-like perspective; a detached and impersonal view from nowhere within the world.Against this the existentialists wanted to show that we are all participants in human affairs and not mere spectators.Other misconceptions mentioned in the book were; that existentialism is just a phenomena born out of post-war Europe; that existentialism is a form of subjectivist philosophy; and that there was a large gulf between Sartre and Heidegger, Sartre -it is often claimed- was a Cartesian while Heidegger was Anti-Cartesian etc.. Some other misconceptions are also mentioned.

I thought the book was missing many of the insights from literature into existentialist thought -although some people will think that is a positive thing.Dostoevsky was not mentioned; I don't remember Kafkas great existential novels (the Trial or the Castle) coming up; and Camus is only mentioned long enough for us to see that he was neither philosophical or systematic and therefore not included.Cooper is not as hostile towards Camus as Sartre was in his review of the Rebel in Les Temps Modenes, but if you are a Camus fan you might want to look away. Of course every book has to make some cuts and Cooper does give reasons for his omissions.

I found the book very helpful and enjoyable, it would probably make a good introduction, but I wouldn't base all my opinions of the philosophy on it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Existentialism clarified and made practical
I enjoyed the well-written book (and I came as a sceptic). Cooper not only synthesizes the different strands of existentialism, but nicely fills in weaknesses before showing how the existentialistic argument can deliver a reasonable philosophy to live by. To help you judge where I am coming from, consider two other books of practical philosophy that I liked: Peter Singer's "Essential Singer: Writings on an ethical life" and Stephen Batchelor's "Buddhism Without Beliefs".

4-0 out of 5 stars The best of general introductions to Existentialism.
This is the best of all exisiting introductions to Existentialism inEnglish, and perhaps any language. The clarity is not bogus. It isexemplary in the number of confusions it clears up. Existentialism is farfrom a passing post-war fad, and Cooper shows why, chapter after chapter.This is a book that should be on every philosophy student's reading list.

4-0 out of 5 stars A coherent and detailed description of existentialism
This is a detailed and interesting analysis of the underrated philosophy, existentialism.Dr. Cooper builds a coherent and useful philosophy from the writings of several diverse, and thoroughly vague, philosophers (focusing on the works of Kierkegaard, Heidegger, Nietzsche, and Sartre).Dr. Cooper does much to dissolve the common conception of existentialism as merely a cultural movement.Although somewhat awkwardly worded in places, it is a wonderful book that will most certainly not leave the reader unchanged (if nothing else it will change the readers opinion of the importance of existentialism in the overall history of philosophy). ... Read more

8. Existentialism (Philosophy Insights)
by Richard Gravil
Kindle Edition: Pages (2010-05-09)
list price: US$8.00
Asin: B003LN0K3A
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An exploration of the 20th Century Philosophy which claimed that ‘existence preceded essence’, or, in effect, that men and women define their own being through their acts and choices. After an Introduction examining the historical moment of Existentialism, as a product of wartime discipline and consciousness, this book sets out the thinking of Kierkegaard and Nietzsche, Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir, Martin Heidegger and Karl Jaspers on the broad questions of What is Man?’; ‘What Can I Know?’ and ‘What must I do?’ It introduces models of Abandonment, The Absurd and Ambiguity; Consciousness and Freedom; Being-in-itself and Being-for-itself, Bad Faith, Facticity and Possibility, Dasein, or there-being, Temporality, attitudes towards Death; The Will-to-Power, The Superman, and the so-called Kingdom of Ends. The book glances throughout at literary contributions to Existentialism, and ends with brief biographies of the major Existentialists and an extensive glossary of terms.
... Read more

9. The Philosophy Of Existentialism
by Gabriel Marcel
Paperback: 128 Pages (2002-02-01)
list price: US$12.00 -- used & new: US$24.50
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Asin: 0806509015
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars A different view than the usual
A brilliant critique of early Existentialism. Marcel offers a very different idea of Existentialism than does the traditional Sartre school. Questionable at points, but indispensable for anyone who is interested inthe philosophy. As William Barrett stressed very clearly in his book"Irrational Man", Existentialism is not a Sartre original. It wasaround in all areas of Europe and in all different religions.

5-0 out of 5 stars Penetrating and Original
An important work within the realm of 20th century philosophy.Marcel critiques the existentialism of Sartre, pointing out the many paradoxes and pitfalls, and then offers his own theories on ontology, metaphysics,ethics, and even psychology.It is immediately apparent that Marcel's workis daringly original, and is free from the many shortcomings found withinthe works of more "academic" philosophers.An independentscholar and dramatist, Marcel often considered his thought"neo-socratic."Never speaking from the pulpit of authority, butjoining us in true intellectual (even spiritual) inquiry, Marcel is aphilosopher's philosopher.It is unfortunate that Marcel was frequentlydismissed as dogmatic, and it is equally as unfortunate that he seldomunderstood the small plot of common ground he shared with Sartre.Inaffirming human freedom and responsibility, along with recognizing thefragility and disquietude of human existence, both Gabriel and Jean-Paulhad a common vision.Marcel's idea of problem and mystery, in addition tohis insights on dualism are essential concepts for anyone seeking tounderstand 20th century thought.This book serves as a fine introduction. ... Read more

10. The Philosophy of Jean-Paul Sartre
by Jean-Paul Sartre
Paperback: 512 Pages (2003-05-27)
list price: US$15.00 -- used & new: US$6.95
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Asin: 1400076323
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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This unique selection presents the essential elements of Sartre's lifework -- organized systematically and made available in one volume for the first time in any language. ... Read more

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4-0 out of 5 stars Fair and far-reaching overview of Jean-Paul Sartre's work
(I was introduced to philosophy through the work of Thomas Nagel andJean-Paul Sartre.)

An excellent introduction to Jean-Paul Sartre's work, both chronologically and conceptually. Sartre has much to say about everything from love and art to consciousness and personal identity. His insights are profound and in many ways have much relevance to every day life. I would recommend his work to anyone, but especially philosophers, psychologists and ministers/priests.

5-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Sartrean examinations and crituques
This volume contains exceptional philosophical articles on the philosophy of Sartre.It covers every and all aspect of his life and thoughts. The critiques pull no punches and omit nothing.This work takes a hard look at the soundness of Sartre's philosophy.To find out if they hold up, readthis volume.p.s. The interview with Sartre durring his later years isworth the price of the book alone.If you like Sartre, you will love thisbook. ... Read more

11. Idealism and Existentialism: Hegel and Nineteenth- and Twentieth-Century European Philosophy (Continuum Studies in Continental Philosophy)
by Jon Stewart
Hardcover: 304 Pages (2010-08-01)
list price: US$120.00 -- used & new: US$85.41
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Asin: 1441133992
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This is an original and provocative critique of the popular view of the radical break between idealism and existentialism in nineteenth-century thought. The history of Continental philosophy is often conceived as being represented by two major schools: German idealism and phenomenology/existentialism. These two schools are frequently juxtaposed so as to highlight their purported radical differences. There is a commonly held view that an abrupt break occurred in the nineteenth century, resulting in a disdainful rejection of idealism in all its forms. This break is often located in the transition from Hegel to Kierkegaard. The history of philosophy in the first half of the nineteenth century has thus been read as a grand confrontation between the overambitious rationalistic system of Hegel and the devastating criticisms of it by Kierkegaard's philosophy of existence. This work aims to undermine this popular view of the radical break between idealism and existentialism by means of a series of detailed studies in specific episodes of European thought.As a whole, this book represents an important attempt to demonstrate the long shadow cast by Kant and Hegel over the subsequent history of European philosophy. "Continuum Studies in Continental Philosophy" presents cutting-edge scholarship in the field of modern European thought. The wholly original arguments, perspectives and research findings in titles in this series make it an important and stimulating resource for students and academics from across the discipline. ... Read more

12. Modern French Philosophy: From Existentialism to Postmodernism
by Robert Wicks
Paperback: 320 Pages (2003-10-25)
list price: US$26.95 -- used & new: US$38.55
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Asin: 1851683186
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This handy guide provides detailed coverage of all the key movements of the last 100 years of French though and gives short but readable accounts of the life, works and influence of famous philosophers and eccentric personalities. ... Read more

13. Basic Concepts of Ancient Philosophy (Studies in Continental Thought)
by Martin Heidegger, Richard Rojcewicz
Hardcover: 272 Pages (2007-10-22)
list price: US$39.95 -- used & new: US$30.04
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Asin: 0253349656
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Basic Concepts of Ancient Philosophy presents a lecture course given by Martin Heidegger in 1926 at the University of Marburg. First published in German as volume 22 of the collected works, the book provides Heidegger's most systematic history of Ancient philosophy beginning with Thales and ending with Aristotle. In this lecture, which coincides with the completion of his most important work, Being and Time, Heidegger is working out a way to sharply differentiate between beings and Being. Richard Rojcewicz's clear and accurate translation offers English-speaking readers valuable insight into Heidegger's views on Ancient thought and concepts such as principle, cause, nature, unity, multiplicity, Logos, truth, science, soul, category, and motion. ... Read more

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5-0 out of 5 stars out of print--available as public download
careful of the money you spend--this is now free as a .pdf.At least as of this writing. ... Read more

14. Phenomenology and Existentialism
by Robert C. Solomon
Paperback: 544 Pages (2001-02-28)
list price: US$42.95 -- used & new: US$35.94
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Asin: 0742512401
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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This anthology of classic essays focuses on the philosophy of Edmund Husserl and the philosophical movement to which his writings gave impetus: phenomenology. Sixty contributions from a wide variety of scholars provide an introduction to phenomenology and existentialist phenomenology. Among the contributors are Frege, Chisholm, Merleau-Ponty, Schmitt, Tillman, Gendlin, Sellars, Linsky, Dreyfus, Ryle, Solomon, Schlick, Ricoeur, Marcel, Heidegger, Sartre, Brentano, Olafson, Camus, and de Beauvoir. ... Read more

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4-0 out of 5 stars Great Intro to Phenomenology
This is a great collection of essays to bring you up to speed on the historical and philosophical development of phenomenology. It's got foundational material from Husserl, Heidegger and Merleau-Ponty, as well as newer stuff. It's not a contemporary collection, but a great way to introduce yourself to where it all started. ... Read more

15. An Introduction to Existentialism
by Robert G. Olson
Paperback: 221 Pages (1962-06-01)
list price: US$10.95 -- used & new: US$6.00
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Asin: 0486200558
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Indispensable guide to one of the most influential thought systems of our century. Stressing the work of Heidegger and Sartre, it offers a careful and objective examination of the existentialist position and values—freedom of choice, individual dignity, personal love, creative effort—and answers to the eternal questions of the human condition.
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Customer Reviews (7)

5-0 out of 5 stars Best book on Existentialism I've found!
Existentialism along with Pragmatism are the precursers of Post-Modernism. Though this book was written in the early 1960's Robert G. Olson's book gives a fairly complete summary and history of Existentialist philosophy. It compares it to Rationalism, Empiricism and Pragmatism in Epistimology, as well as Realism and Idealism in Metaphysics. Olson also covers many of the Ethical implications of Existentialism. He juxtiposes it to "Modern" Analytic Philosophy. I enjoyed this book immensely because I like comparing rival ideas and Philosophies. If you're interested in that too, or just want to understand the roots of Post-Modernism, or the way some European intelectuals think, then you should find this to be a great book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Readable, exciting philosophy book.
This is one of those books that truly address the kind of big questions that bring people to philosophy before they get lost in arcane aspects of the field, and does so beautifully. It offers the added service of tying the questions existentialism asks and tries to answer to existentialism's predecessors in philosophy. It does so in a clear writing style and with a sense of passion about the subject. It's a pretty quick read, unless you choose to linger over it, which isn't a bad idea.

4-0 out of 5 stars Mostly Heidegger & Sarte--scholarly & readable
The author elucidates the basic elements of Existentialism, contrasting them with traditional philosophy & esp. American Pragmatism; chapters cover: Value Orientation (traditional vs. existentialist), The Human Condition (anguish & being), Reason & Unreason (epistemologies), Freedom (vs. determinism), Authenticity (Heidegger vs. Sarte), The Other (existence & authenticity), & Death (Heidegger vs. Sarte).He focuses on Heidegger & Sarte but addresses others too--pointing out Existentialism's ups & downs.I prefer Sarte: p. 211: "The very act of freedom is therefore the assumption & creation of finitude...the `individual' is the man who has the courage to make authentic decisions" though I'd say finitude creates freedom.Existentialism revolves around human freedom with some parallels to Freud; Olson ignores Jung though Existentialist in-itself/for-itself parallel Jung's unconscious/conscious minds & Buddhist absolute/relative being--Existentialists are dualists vs. mystical unio mystica/Spinoza's monistic approach.IMHO Existentialists make many good points (e.g. human dignity vs. predestination) but fail to properly extrapolate/interpret them.As Olson states--pp. 187-8: "Pragmatists say existentialists overgeneralize."

More specifically, they constantly argue dichotomies whereas the universe is spectral--shades of gray vs. just black & white.Thus, their views are simplistic.For example, Existentialists assert that consciousness depends on suffering--but this is just a special case because experiences depend on contrast--one can only perceive something via contrast--you can't see a polar bear in a snowstorm or a black cat on a moonless night.Further, they make many value judgments--suffering the pitfall of attribution (assume all people are like Existentialist philosophers)--whereas Jung's typology (Psychological Types (Collected Works of C.G. Jung, Volume 6)), for example, demonstrates human differences (further, how do Extra-terrestrials think?).Assuming homo sapiens are the ultimate beings is simplistic & egocentric; to state that thinking people are always conscious is absurd.Also, I submit that societal conventions are not truths (pp. 79-80).As Olson argues, p. 33: "Genuine knowledge is invariably a knowledge of a recurrent type of relationship between two or more kinds of particular beings under similar circumstances."Per Knowledge Management, context is necessary for knowledge, understanding, meaning, & decisions.

Also p. 125: "The mistake of the existentialists is similar to that of philosophers in the classical tradition.They pushed a concept to its very limits & found themselves with nothing but a meaningless & self-contradictory concept on their hands."For example, unlike Montague in The Ways of Knowing or the Methods of Philosophy, philosophers usually have uni-epistemological belief systems.Antithetically, Science is, at worst, bi-epistemological, counterbalancing philosophical Rationalism with Empiricism (& often Intuition).Thus Existentialists reach absurd conclusions such as: p. 105: desire is a lack of something--ignoring positive reinforcement, Herzberg's Two Factor Theory, Maslow's Self-Actualization, & Buddhas (who only desire to Be); p. 123: shame is logical due to one's freedom/control--but one can be ashamed of others over whom one has no control--e.g. ancestors, family, national leaders, or humanity as a whole; pp. 181-2: Sarte thinks love is always transitive (has an object) ignoring mystical, intransitive, selfless love; & p. 189: security & freedom are mutually exclusive--demonstrating the absurdity of their dichotomy of extremes.

Overall, the book is quite informative though I cannot attest to its accuracy in defining Existentialism & contrasting it with Pragmatism & Freud.However, I would take issue with virtually all the belief systems Olson includes in this work.They certainly have something to contribute, but he ignores Realists (the well-considered complex, more sophisticated, views of Montague), Jungian psychology, Kant (I'd be interested in his views on Existentialism; The Philosophy of Kant: Immanuel Kant's Moral and Political Writings); & mysticism--though Olson sheds some light on their approach--p. 167: "The man who deliberately cuts himself off from others does so, not because he is indifferent, but on the contrary because his consciousness of others is so acute that he cannot bear their physical presence.Physical isolation is simply one way in which men relate to others & thereby define their own being."Sounds like a Tibetan lama's 3-year retreat or a Kabbalist's Hitbodetut to me.

4-0 out of 5 stars A good introduction to existentialism
i read the 1962 version--and apparently the text was never updated (but it has stayed in print).i found it a useful and clear presentation of the subject.the first twenty pages are worth the purchase, as the author is very good at orienting existentialism within the context of other philosophies. the chapters on anguish and freedom are especially good.some of the text's language is archaic.phrases such as the "common man" and the exclusive use of the male pronoun are used throughout.these are a bit distracting to the contemporary feminist trained ear, and reminds one of the sexist sensibilities of even the best educated individuals in the early 1960s.if one wants a literary-critical (as opposed to a strictly philosophical) reflection on existentialism, i would recommend TO DENY OUR NOTHINGNESS by maurice friedman. also written in the 1960s, friedman's book is a profound critical reflection on existential novels and poetry popular in his day (such as camus' THE PLAGUE and the novels of herman hesse).

5-0 out of 5 stars This book isn't bad but...
if you want a literary introduction to Existentialism, not bogged down by complexities, read a book like 'Toilet: The Novel' by Michael Szymczyk, or 'Siddhartha and Goldmund' by Herman Hesse.
Otherwise, for an introduction to the Philosophy, check this one or Walter Kauffman's book. ... Read more

16. Modern Movements in European Philosophy: Phenomenology, Critical Theory, Structuralism
Paperback: 384 Pages (1995-01-15)
list price: US$30.00 -- used & new: US$15.99
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Asin: 0719042488
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In this now classic textbook, Richard Kearney surveys the work of nineteen of this century’s most influential European thinkers. The second edition has a new chapter devoted to Julia Kristeva, whose work in the fields of semiotics and psychoanalytic theory has made a significant contribution to recent continental thought.
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17. Existentialism: An Introduction, Guide, and Assessment (Penguin Philosophy)
by John MacQuarrie
 Paperback: 320 Pages (1973-09-30)
list price: US$12.95 -- used & new: US$49.95
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Asin: 0140136169
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Brand New Book that has never been opened or read. Gift Quality. Guaranteed Quality. Ships in 24 hrs with Delivery Confirmation ... Read more

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John Macquarrie

(Philadelphia, PA: Westminster, 1972 and later reprints)252 pages

The best book in English on existentialism.
Each chapter explores one theme rather than one thinker.
The chapter on Authenticity is called "In Quest of Authentic Existence".
Some other major themes are:
human existence, freedom of action, language, feelings.

This organization of the book
allows the reader who is new to existentialism
to begin reading on whatever theme is most interesting.

If you would like to read other books on existentialism,
search the Internet for: "Authenticity Bibliography".

James Leonard Park, existential philosopher

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent!
Existentialism is such a wide and diverse philosophy and has had so many different contributors with differing views that the term `existentialism' has come to be nearly meaningless.John Macquarrie shows that while there are very few things that`existentialists' will agree on there are still recurrent subjects throughout their writing - such as freedom, decision, responsibility etc. Along with the themes that are common amongst existentialists there is also the common methodology of phenomenology that they share - at the beginning of the book there is a small section that briefly outlines the historical development of phenomenology as well as a description of Husserl's phenomenology - it is in no way detailed, but it's enough to give the reader a rough understanding.

The second chapter of this book traces the existentialist style of philosophizing through the history of philosophy - From the pre-Hellenistic age up until modern times.Macquarrie shows that the existentialist style of thought commonly emerges in a society when people find that their securities are threatened, when social structures and values begin to decay, and when the ambiguities of the world become more obvious.

This book is laid out so that every chapter discusses a separate topic common among existentialist philosophers.The book covers everything form thought and language (chapter 7), Finitude and guilt (chapter 10), authentic existence (chapter 11) and metaphysics (chapter 13).In the final two chapters Macquarrie evaluates the strengths and weakness of existeialism and outlines some of the contributions the philosophy has made in other areas - psychology, ethics, literature, education etc. if you're looking to learn about existentialism this is an excellent introduction. ... Read more

18. From Rationalism to Existentialism: The Existentialists and Their Nineteenth-century Backgrounds
by Robert C. Solomon
Paperback: 368 Pages (2001-02-14)
list price: US$39.95 -- used & new: US$30.00
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Asin: 074251241X
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In this enduring text, renowned philosopher Robert C. Solomon provides students with a detailed introduction to modern existentialism. He reveals how this philosophy not only connects with, but derives from, the thought of traditional philosophers through the works of Nietzsche, Kierkegaard, Husserl, Heidegger, Sartre, and Merleau-Ponty. Thus, existentialism emerges from the school of rational thought as a logical evolution of respected philosophy. ... Read more

19. Existentialist Philosophy: An Introduction (2nd Edition)
by Nathan L. Oaklander
Paperback: 402 Pages (1995-09-15)
list price: US$99.60 -- used & new: US$84.96
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Asin: 0133738612
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Introducing readers to existentialist philosophy through the writings of Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, De Beauvoir and others, this unique anthology includes long selections froma relatively small number of existentialist thinkers — exploring each philosopher's views in great detail, and prefacing the essays with insightful introductions to help clarify material.Offers creative, explicative chapter introductions to help readers grasp material to becovered. Provides in-depth essays from select existentialist figures to allow a fuller view of eachphilosopher considered. Illustrates existentialist philosophy in literature with Jean-Paul Sartre's No Exit, Albert Camus' The Stranger, and Heidegger's Being and Time. Includes practical end-of-chapter glossaries to help readers with technical terms and unfamiliar jargon.Now presents thought-provoking study/discussion questions, as well as an updated bibliography.For those interested in existentialism, late 19th century thought, and the philosophy of religion. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (4)

4-0 out of 5 stars mostly the same as the first edition
I found the first edition of this book in a used store for $5. I compared the table of contents of the two versions, and they are mostly the same. The second edition has selections from Sartre's No Exit and Camus' The Stranger, but other than that they appear to be identical.

That Oaklander can put together introductions to the selections included on this level of clarity and continuty is argument enough for the books purchase. Instead of the usual pablum that you find in introductory texts, he delivers concise, clear, well-exampled essays. He holds to an argument, a theme and follows it through to a conclusion the connects it all into one very nicely written and intelligent prologue. The jargon, when used is fully exampled and appropriate. Good first time reading as well as a handy quick review.

5-0 out of 5 stars this guy is my college professor...
I find this to be a very informative book (from what I've read) and I look forward to taking his course @ UM-Flint this next semester...

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Introductory Text
This book is an excellent introduction to existentialist thought.The pieces written by Oaklander are very good and help to paint a balanced and informative picture of the main positions of each philosopher.Primary texts are often difficult for the unacquainted reader to understand, so Oaklander's writings are a big help. The excerpts from the original writings are well-chosen and interesting.The only aspect of the book that I did not like is the sparse treatment Camus received.He deserves more attention than he was given.I would imagine that it is difficult to compile a rather concise book that has a significant amount of breadth and depth, but Oaklander has done it.If you are interested in studying existentialist philosophy and would like to begin establishing a foundation, this book is for you. ... Read more

20. Heidegger and the Project of Fundamental Ontology (S U N Y Series in Contemporary Continental Philosophy) (Suny Series in Contemporary Continental Philosophy)
by Jacques Taminiaux
Paperback: 268 Pages (1991-09-03)
list price: US$29.95 -- used & new: US$29.95
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Asin: 0791406865
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