Although “presence” is found throughout Marcel’s work, he admits that it is impossible to give a rigorous definition of it. Ontologically, we rarely have experiences of the singular self; instead, our experiences are bound to those with whom we interact. The leading exponents of existentialism are Soren Kierkegaard (1813-1855), a Danish philosopher, Martin Heidegger and Karl Jaspers, German philosophers, Gabriel Marcel and Jean u1 Sartre, French philosophers and a host of others like Schelling, Nietsche, Pascal, Hussrell, etc.. Throughout his life, Marcel sought out, and was sought out by, various influential thinkers, including Paul Ricoeur, Jacques Maritain, Charles Du Bos, Gustave Thibon, and Emmanuel Levinas. Perhaps most known for his views on freedom, Marcel gave to existentialism a view of freedom that marries the absolute indeterminacy of traditional existentialism with Marcel’s view that transcendence out of facticity can only come by depending upon others with the same goals. On the strength of this, Gabriel Marcel, the leading religious existentialist in Europe, considering our state of life in a relational level, propounded the theory of I … The exigent life is repelled by this reduction, and serves as a protest against it. Life is, for the problematic man, a series of opportunities to possess, and the body is alienated from the problematic man’s own corporeality. To be available is not to be possessed as an object. Communion with other participative beings is renewing to the self as a result of the other giving to me out of who he is, rather than merely by what he says. The force of the exigent life comes through the experience of being that is only found in sharing with others in being. If Marcel’s ontology is viable, and the self can question who it is that asks Who am I?, then the self will find the answer to be constantly in flux. This is not to say, of course, that the creative impulse is measurable by what we produce. The unavailable person is characterized by an absorption with her self, whether with her own successes and accomplishments or her own problems. The typical person (that is, the “Problematic man”) has become an object to him or herself through sheer busyness of life, through a lack of meaningful relationships with others, and through the intrusion of technological advancement. The death of his mother, in 1893 when Gabriel was not quite four years old left an indelible impression on him. [5] He taught in secondary schools, was a drama critic for various literary journals, and worked as an editor for Plon, the major French Catholic publisher.[6]. There are, certainly, detriments to the life of presence that Marcel explicates. French philosopher Gabriel Marcel (1889-1973) described man's place in the world in terms of such fundamental human experiences as relationships, love, fidelity, hope, and faith. Marcel was acutely aware, however, that his dramatic work did not enjoy the popularity of his philosophical work, but he believed nonetheless that both were, “Capable of moving and often of absorbing readers very different from one another, living in the most diverse countries—beings whom it is not a question of counting precisely because they are human beings and belong as such to an order where number loses all meaning,” (AE, 27). One can create, and create destructively. Gabriel Marcel, an only child, was born in Paris in 1889, and his mother died when he was only four. He converted to Catholicism in 1929 and his philosophy was later described as “Christian Existentialism” (most famously in Jean-Paul Sartre's “Existentialism is a Humanism”) a term he initially endorsed but later repudiated. It is our active freedom that prevents us from the snare of objectifying the self, and which brings us into relationships with others. Faith and Reality,Metaphysical Journal,Man Against Mass Society,Being and Having - An Existentialist Diary,Philosophical Fragments 1909-1914, etc. To exist existentially is to exist as a thinking, emotive, being, dependent upon the human creative impulse. Dominating Marcel’s philosophical development was the intersection of his interest in the individuality of beings and his interest in the relations which bind beings together. Many existentialist thinkers are led to conclude that life is only something to be tolerated, and that close or intimate relationships with others should be avoided. by ; November 12, 2020; Pages : 166 For interactions in which there is communication without communion, Marcel believes that the self becomes an object to the one with whom the communication is occurring. Its question time ! But on the periphery of the movement are writers - apart even from the Barthian theological heirs of Kierkegaard - for whom The experience of freedom cannot be achieved unless the subject extricates herself from the grip of egocentrism, since freedom is not simply doing what desire dictates. Marcel demonstrates this by noting how easy it is to find ourselves with others who are not significantly present at all, and at other times we are present to those who are not physically with us at all. Marcel was not a “dogmatic pacifist,” but experiences in World War I as a non-combatant solidified to Marcel the, “Desolate aspect that it [war] became an object of indignation, a horror without equal,” (AE 20) and contributed to a life-long fascination with death. Albert Camus could never cease to be one of the principle figures in our cultural domain, nor to represent, in his own way, the history of France and of this century. A prolific life-long writer, his early works reflected his interest in idealism. For the problematic man (see section 2) each aspect of life is reduced to the level of a problem, so that the self and all of its relationships, goals, and desires are treated as obstacles to be conquered. The existential life that Marcel paints as possible for humanity is largely one of hope—but not one of optimism. The goal of primary reflection, then, is to problematize the self and its relation to the world, and so it seeks to reduce and conquer particular things. After converting to Catholicism in 1929, he became a noted opponent of atheistic existentialism, and primarily that of Jean-Paul Sartre. He was trained in philosophy by Henri Bergson, among others. GABRIEL MARCEL: MYSTERY OF BEING In the past Existentialism in continental Europe was dominated by the profound but deplorable influence of Sartre's atheistic existentialism, of which even Heidegger is known to have said, "Good God! Since fidelity is a predicate that is best ascribed by others to us, it follows that receptivity to the views of others’ is a natural component of fidelity. Moirans is horrified by the idea that this creature, so lovely, intelligent, and full of life, might go and bury herself in a convent and he decides to do his utmost to make her give up her intention... Clarisse is deeply shocked; her father now appears to her as an impostor, virtually as a deliberate fraud...[7], In this case, Moirans is unable to treat either of his daughters as a subject, instead rejecting both because each does not conform to her objectified image in his mind. All people become a master of defining their individual selves by either their possessions or by their professions. In fact, while existentialism is generally considered to have originated with Kierkegaard, the first prominent existentialist philosopher to adopt the term as a self-description was Jean-Paul Sartre. A key aspect of communion, then, is the way it limits the objectification of beings. Freedom is defined by Marcel in both a negative and positive sense. As he points out in Man Against Mass Society and other works, technology has a privileged authority with which it persuades the subject to accept his place as "he" in the internal dialogue of science; and as a result, man is convinced by science to rejoice in his own annihilation. Negatively, freedom is, “The absence of whatever resembles an alienation from oneself,” and positively as when, “The motives of my action are within the limits of what I can legitimately consider as the structural traits of my self,” (TF, 232). (This isn’t to say, of course, that the self will experience wholeness just in virtue of her being available to others. For Marcel, autonomy is a discovery of the self as a being receptive to others, rather than as a power to be exerted. The philosophical approach known as existentialism is commonly recognized for its view that life’s experiences and interactions are meaningless. Gabriel Marcel was born in Paris in 1889, the city where he also died in 1973. Marcel almost certainly borrows from Martin Buber’s I-Thou in his view of communion, in that Buber’s ontological communion is the free expression of those who are able to give and receive freely to each other so that an encounter with the other is possible, and for Marcel this communion is expressed as a free reception of the other to oneself (IB 136). For Marcel, the human subject cannot exist in the technological world, instead being replaced by a human object. Existence is prior, and existence is prior to any abstracting that we do on the basis of our perception. Just as the joints of the skeleton are conjoined and adapted to bones, Marcel contends that the individual life finds its justification and its meaning by being inwardly conjoined, adapted, and oriented towards something other than itself (V I, 201-2). This belief, says Marcel, has thrown man into a ghostly state of quandary caused by a desire to possess rather than to be. In opposition to exigence is the life of the problematic man. But the picture is not rosy. Communion-as-encounter, according to Marcel (GR 273), is encapsulated by the French en, whereas in English, within best represents the envelopment of one’s being that occurs in communion. Almost all occurrences of unavailability result form an individual seeking fulfillment through the objectification of the self. One of the differences in how we use the term is in the strength of a thing’s “here-ness”. Gabriel Marcel (1889–1973) was a philosopher, drama critic, playwright and musician. (The cognitive subject cannot seek the fulfilled state of the exigent self in a meaningful way, and the experiencing subject cannot see beyond herself as an object. Marcel railed against indecision with respect to what is essential, even though such indecision, “Seems to be the mark and privilege of the illumined mind,” (CF 190) because truly free people are not entrapped by their beliefs, but are liberated by living out their consequences (see 2). Existentialism being one of the models of philosophy advocates for a life of commitment which gives focus and sense of direction to one’s life. His major books are the Metaphysical Journal (1927), Being and Having (1933), Homo Viator (1945), Mystery of Being (1951), and Man Against Mass Society (1955). (Jean Paul Sartre) This work is an attempt to understand the time I live in. After the war, Marcel married Jaqueline Boegner, and he taught at a secondary school in Paris. Marcel was the only child of Henri and Laure Marcel. His most significant philosophical works include Being and Having (1949), The Mystery of Being, Volume I and II (1950-51), Man against Mass Society (1962) and Creative Fidelity (1964). Even more, individuals begin to believe that their lives have worth because they are tied to these things, these objects. (The reciprocity of presence is a necessary condition for it.) Das hab' ich nicht gewollt!" Gabriel Honoré Marcel[a] (1889–1973) was a French philosopher, playwright, music critic and leading Christian existentialist. Sartre’s notion of commitment is based on the strength of the solitary decisions made by individuals who have committed themselves fully to personal independence. (Albert Camuson 'The Rebel') One might think, that a period which, within fifty years, uproots, enslaves or kills seventy million human beings, should only, and forthwith, be condemned. The Gabriel Marcel Society. For Marcel, the body does not have instrumental value, nor is it simply a part or extension of the self. That we are body, of course, naturally lends us to think of the body in terms of object. It is natural enough that he should be opposed to the divorce of his daughter Therese, who wants to leave her unfaithful husband and start her life afresh. The existential impetus of secondary reflection cannot be overemphasized for Marcel:  Participation which involves the presence of the self to the world is only possible if the temptation to assume the self is wholly distinct from the world is overcome (CF 22). Fidelity exists only when it triumphs over the gap in presence from one being to another—when it helps others relate, and so defies absences in presence (CF 152). In The Existential Background of Human Dignity, Marcel refers to a play he had written in 1913 entitled Le Palais de Sable, in order to provide an example of a person who was unable to treat others as subjects. The person who sees herself as autonomous within herself  has a freedom based on ill-fated egocentrism. His father was a French diplomat to Sweden and was committed to educating his son through frequent travel across Europe. And, where there is objectification, there cannot be participation, and without the availability of participation, there cannot be presence. For Marcel, an understanding of one’s being is only possible through secondary reflection, since it is a reflection whereby the self asks itself how and from what starting point the self is able to proceed (E 14). He has set himself up as the champion of traditional monarchy and has just achieved a great success in the city council where he has attacked the secularism of public schools. He wrote many other books, such as Mystery of Being: 1. He is often classified as one of the earliest existentialists, although he dreaded being placed in the same category as Jean-Paul Sartre; Marcel came to prefer the label neo-Socratic (possibly because of Søren Kierkegaard, the father of Christian existentialism, who was a neo-Socratic thinker himself). If the creative élan is a move away from the objectification of humanity, it must be essentially tied relationally to others. The mystery of being, then, is a tale to be told, analyzed, probed, and worked toward. The result is frustration, apathy, or distrust in oneself or others. I never in­ tended that!" Regardless of his point of departure, Marcel throughout his life balked at the designation of his philosophy as, “Theistic existentialism.”  He argued that, though theism was consistent with his existentialism, it was not an essential characteristic of it. Marcelian participation is possible through a special type of reflection in which the subject views herself as a being among beings, rather than as an object. Availability can be understood as being at hand, or handiness, so that a person is ready to respond to another when called upon. But this openness cannot result in the objectification of the subject by the other. Man recognizes that at root, he is an existing thing, but he somehow feels compelled to prove his life is more significant than that. Two people sitting in close physical proximity on an airplane might not be present to each other, although people miles away speaking on a phone might have a stronger awareness of being together. A spouse, for example, might not physically cheat on her husband, but on Marcel’s view, if she remains unavailable to her partner, she can only be called “constant”. If it is true that participative beings can have communion with each other, and so encounter one another, then there must be another component to presence that enables a once-objectified person to respond to the encounter of communion. Gabriel Honoré Marcel (1889-1973) was a French philosopher, playwright, music critic and Christian existentialist. “Gabriel Marcel: A Critique,”. But what is it that Marcel thinks we ought to be faithful towards? His existentialism is centered on commitment to the development of the individual’s real existence, establishing mutual respect, and trust in human relationship which acknowledge the worth of man in relation to his fellow man in the feeling of connection. The mystery of being for the existential self is unsolvable, because it is not a problem to be solved. In fact, the acrimony between the two became such that the two would attend performances of the other’s plays, only to storm out midway. Marcel notes that such objectification "does no less than denude its object of the one thing which he has which is of value, and so it degrades him effectively. Gabriel Marcel - Gabriel Marcel - Experience and reflection: The foregoing analysis reveals a tension in Marcel’s thought, one that he was aware of and with which he often struggled. Although all humans have basic, autonomous freedom (Marcel thought of this as “capricious” freedom), in virtue of their embodiment and consciousness; only those persons who seek to experience being by freely engaging with other free beings can break out of the facticity of the body and into the fulfillment of being. Reflexive reflection is an inward looking that allows the self to be receptive to the call of others. To sum it up, Gabriel Marcel’s existentialism can serve as a solution to how we should live our lives. He penned as many words on unavailability, indisponibilité as he did availability, and with good reason:  obstacles frequently occur when individuals attempt to coalesce their experiences to emerge as stronger, more cohesive beings. It is impossible for the self to conceive of the body in any way at all except for as a distinct entity identified with the self (CF 23). work, therefore seeks to appraise Gabriel Marcel’s existentialist philosophy that sought to advance and promote the dignity of man in the age of scientific and technological advancement. [9], For many years, Marcel hosted a weekly philosophy discussion group through which he met and influenced important younger French philosophers like Jean Wahl, Paul Ricœur, Emmanuel Levinas, and Jean-Paul Sartre. As Marcel developed philosophically, however, his work was marked by an emphasis on the concrete, on lived experience. Marcel compares the encumbered, unavailable life, to a hand-written draft of a manuscript. The positive result of living an available life is that it makes the subject more fully aware of herself than she would be if she did not have the relationship. The term existentialism (French: L'existentialisme) was coined by the French Catholic philosopher Gabriel Marcel in the mid-1940s. To feel is a mode of participation, a creative act which draws the subject closer to an experience of the self as a being-among-beings, although higher degrees of participation are achieved by one whose acts demonstrate a commitment to that experience. The objectification of the self through one’s possessions robs one of her freedom, and separates her from the experiences of her own participation in being. Philosophy Of Existentialism Gabriel Marcelfree subscriptions, which they do from time to time for special groups of people like moms or students. Marcel was puzzled and disappointed that his reputation was almost entirely based on his philosophical treatises and not on his plays, which he wrote in the hope of appealing to a wider lay audience. “Marcel’s Concept of Availability,” In, Marcel, Gabriel. Marcel argued that scientific egoism replaces the "mystery" of being with a false scenario of human life composed of technical "problems" and "solutions". Instead, the self cannot be eradicated from the body. Jill Graper Hernandez the philosophy of existentialism gabriel marcel pdf. 5.0 out of 5 stars THE FRENCH EXISTENTIALIST EXPLAINS EXISTENTIALISM Reviewed in the United States on February 7, 2015 Gabriel Honoré Marcel (1889-1973) was a French philosopher, playwright, music critic and Christian existentialist. Nevertheless, his philosophy lets us feel our freedom within ourselves through the help of active participation and reflection. The author of over a dozen books and at least thirty plays, Marcel's work focused on the modern individual's struggle in a technologically dehumanizing society. In spite of the many whom he positively influenced, Marcel became known for his very public disagreements with Jean-Paul Sartre. Most noted within existentialism for his disputes with Jean-Paul Sartre, Gabriel Marcel was a gifted essayist and playwright, specializing in matters of faith and morality. The death of his mother, in 1893 when Gabriel was not quite four years old left an indelible impression on him. In Existentialism and Humanism Jean-Paul Sartre states that there are “two kinds of existentialists,” the atheistic, in which he includes himself, and the Christian, among whom he includes his fellow countryman Gabriel Marcel.1 Needless to say, these two existentialists significantly disagree on many things and yet, surprisingly, they also The person who is given in a situation to creative development experiences life qualitatively at a higher mode of being than those for whom experiences are another facet of their functionality. Existentialism being one of the models of philosophy advocates for a life of commitment which gives focus and sense of direction to one’s life. Examples of this philosophy are.. Beliefs Promoted Human free will Human nature is chosen through life choices Along with others such as... Who? Yet, even if there is despair in our situation, there is always movement towards something more. Although Marcel did not pursue anything more permanent than intermittent teaching posts at secondary schools, he did hold prestigious lectureships, giving the Gifford Lectures at Aberdeen in 1949-50 and the William James Lectures at Harvard in 1961. So, to create is to reject the reduction of the self to the level of abstraction—of object, “The denial of the more than human by the less than human,” (CF 10). Marcel was an early proponent of what would become a major Sartrean existential tenet:  I am my body. Marcel, a World War I non-combatant veteran, pursued the life of an intellectual, and enjoyed success as a playwright, literary critic, and concert pianist. Just as secondary reflection must be active in order to participate with others, the exigent self’s reflexive reflection is rooted in an active, more developed sense of availability to others (see  3). (Marcel was pleased to be awarded the Peace Prize of the Börsenverein des Buchhandels in 1964.). Gabriel Marcel, in full Gabriel-Honoré Marcel, (born December 7, 1889, Paris, France—died October 8, 1973, Paris), French philosopher, dramatist, and critic who was associated with the phenomenological and existentialist movements in 20th-century European philosophy and whose work and style are often characterized as theistic or Christian existentialism (a term Marcel disliked, …, 20th-century French dramatists and playwrights, Converts to Roman Catholicism from atheism or agnosticism, Members of the Académie des sciences morales et politiques, Pages using infobox philosopher with unknown parameters, Wikipedia articles with BIBSYS identifiers, Wikipedia articles with CANTIC identifiers, Wikipedia articles with CINII identifiers, Wikipedia articles with PLWABN identifiers, Wikipedia articles with SELIBR identifiers, Wikipedia articles with SNAC-ID identifiers, Wikipedia articles with SUDOC identifiers, Wikipedia articles with Trove identifiers, Wikipedia articles with WORLDCATID identifiers, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 13 July 2020, at 15:33. The labels existentialism and existentialist are often seen as historical conveniences in as much as they were first applied to many philosophers in hindsight, long after they had died. As an existentialist, Marcel’s freedom is tied to the raw experiences of the body. Gabriel Marcel on Existentialism--and Life quotes from his The Philosophy of Gabriel Marcel. existentialism (ĕgzĭstĕn`shəlĭzəm, ĕksĭ–), any of several philosophic systems, all centered on the individual and his relationship to the universe or to God.Important existentialists of varying and conflicting thought are Søren Kierkegaard, Karl Jaspers, Martin Heidegger, Gabriel Marcel, and Jean-Paul Sartre. A decidedly unsystematic thinker, it is difficult to categorize Marcel’s work, in large part because the main Marcelian themes are so interconnected. To move towards a greater sense of being, one must have creative fidelity. He also influenced phenomenologist and Thomistic philosopher Karol Wojtyla (later Pope John Paul II), who drew on Marcel's distinction between "being" and "having" in his critique of technological change.[10]. This availability is not passive; rather, the exigent self actively seeks out relationships with others, just as she is actively engaged in the concern for others. Yet, Marcel does not call on the participative subject to be reflective for receptivity’s sake. He wrote many other books, such as Mystery of Being: 1.Reflection and Mystery,Mystery of Being: 2. He is often classified as one of the earliest existentialists, although he dreaded being placed in the same category as Jean-Paul Sartre; Marcel came to prefer the label neo-Socratic (possibly because of Søren Kierkegaard, the father of Christian existentialism, who was a neo-Socratic thinker himself). By this time his father (a lapsed Catholic) was an agnostic, and his aunt was nominally a liberal Protestant. U. S. A. Bollnow, Otto Friedrich. As for his literary works, Marcel in total published more than 30 plays, a number of which have been translated in English and produced in the United States. The term “presence” is used in various ways in the English language, although each connote a “here-ness” that indicates whether or not a subject was “here”. [5], Marcel completed his DES thesis[b] (diplôme d'études supérieures [fr], roughly equivalent to an MA thesis) and obtained the agrégation in philosophy from the Sorbonne in 1910, at the unusually young age of 20. Heard distinctly among this despair and dread was the original philosophical voice of Gabriel Marcel. Availability is a risk one takes, since it is only through availability that the potential for fullness emerges as possible.). Marcel was the only child of Henri and Laure Marcel. He begins to believe that the things he surrounds himself with can make his life more meaningful or valuable. There is mystery in presence, according to Marcel, because presence can transcend the objective physical fact of being-with each other. The most significant end achievable for an individual is to be immersed in the beings of others, for only with others does the self experience wholeness of being. Though often regarded as the first French existentialist, he dissociated himself from figures such as Jean-Paul Sartre, preferring the term philosophy of existence or neo-Socrateanism to define his own thought. “Reply to Gene Reeves,” In, Strauss, E.W. Marcel argues that, “A really alive person is not merely someone who has a taste for life, but somebody who spreads that taste, showering it, as it were, around him; and a person who is really alive in this way has, quite apart from any tangible achievements of his, something essentially creative about him,” (VI, 139). Meaning is forced into life through these venues. Marcel’s conception of freedom is the most philosophically enduring of all of his themes, although the last decade has seen a resurgence of attention paid to Marcel’s metaphysics and epistemology. Neither does mere contemplation suffice to explain this phenomenon. Read Book The Philosophy Of Existentialism Gabriel Marcel thinkers are led to conclude that life is only something to be tolerated, and that close or intimate relationships with others should be avoided. In his introduction to The Philosophy of Existentialism, Gabriel Marcel describes the first three essays, which make up most of the book. Additionally, fidelity requires that a subject be open to changing her mind, actions, and beliefs if those things do not contribute to a better grasp of what it means to be. Marcel argues that one cannot have presence with—that is, one cannot welcome or gather to the self—whatever is purely and simply an object. The weight of encumbrance renders the self incapable of presence, and so the self becomes opaque. When we are able to act freely, we can move away from the isolated perspective of the problematic man (“I am body only,”) to that of the participative subject (“I am a being among beings”) who is capable of interaction with others in the world. However, the phenomenological experience of freedom is less paradoxical when it is seen through the lens of the engagement of freedom. 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