A History of Western Philosophy Book 4

Author: Jack Thomson, Publisher: Phoenix

A History of Western Philosophy Book 4: Phenomenology, Existentialism and American Philosophy

A history of Western philosophy is a progressive story of the best answers to the most interesting and important questions we have asked in our attempts to understand the world and our experience in it from the beginning of our time on Earth. Examples of such questions are:

  • What can we know, and how can we come to know it?
  • What is the fundamental nature of our world and ourselves?
  • How can we best live and organise our individual and collective lives most satisfyingly and happily?

From early childhood to very old age we all ask philosophical questions because we feel the need to understand our human situation and condition.

This history is divided into 11 major Parts presented in 7 separate Books, covering the main developments in science and philosophy over the past 2,500 years. During this time, some radically different schools of thought have emerged, all integrally related to the history of the times, societies and cultures from which they arose.

Book 4: Phenomenology, Existentialism and American Philosophy

Part 5: Modern Phenomenology and Existentialism: The new philosophies of phenomenology and existentialism rejected Romanticism and Hegel’s metaphysics. Existentialists assert that the only certain knowledge that we have about our lives is that we exist and that we are going to die. As there is no god for us to rely on, we have to create our own values for ourselves and take responsibility for the actions we take in living according to them. Phenomenology’s founder, Edmund Husserl, devised a method of accessing and understanding what he believed to be the reliable intuitive knowledge we have of the essence of phenomena – objects and feelings. Martin Heidegger’s theory of the nature of human being developed out of Phenomenology and led to the work of the later existentialists, Jean-Paul Sartre, Albert Camus and Maurice Merleau-Ponty.

Part 6: American Philosophy: American philosophy examines the origins and major currents of American thought, with the emphasis on recurring themes and the philosophy of pragmatism which culminates in the liberal humanism of John Dewey. We also closely examine the brilliant contribution of Susanne Langer to the philosophy of art and Richard Rorty’s highly individualistic neo-pragmatism which rejects the idea of absolute truth.

More Information
Edition 1st
Date of Publication 2018
ISBN 9781925169188
Subject Philosophy