Fragments: Essays in Subjectivity, Individuality, and Autonomy

Fragments: Essays in Subjectivity, Individuality, and Autonomy

Fragments: Essays in Subjectivity, Individuality, and Autonomy

Fragments: Essays in Subjectivity, Individuality, and Autonomy

Excerpt

And if truth is one of the ultimate values, it seems strange
that no one seems to know what it is. Philosophers still
quarrel about its meaning and the upholders of rival doc
trines say many sarcastic things of one another. In these cir
cumstances the plain man must leave them to it and
content himself with the plain man’s truth. This is a very
modest affair and merely asserts something about particu
lar existents. It is a bare statement of the facts. If this is a
value, one must admit that none is more neglected.

— W. Somerset Maugham

In the first chapter of the second volume of The Mystery of Being, Gabriel Marcel convincingly argues that to philosophize is to think sub specie aeterni. Immediately thereafter he anticipates the question that some critics may pose: whether to reflect on the nature of the self is a form of ego-centrism. His answer is resoundingly clear. Marcel reasons that sooner or later the thinker has little choice but to realize that he is one of many entities. However, this initial discovery is founded on the understanding that the reality that we . . .

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