Gabriel Marcel

Gabriel Marcel

Born: 1889. Died: 1973.


French philosopher, dramatist, and critic, b. Paris. A leading Christian existentialist, he became a Roman Catholic in 1929.

He called himself a 'concrete philosopher', indicating a reaction to his early idealism.

He saw philosophy not as formulation of a system but rather as a personal reflection on the human situation.

He held that the philosopher must be engagé, or personally involved, because existence and the human person are more significant than any abstraction. Involvement must be with other persons. To counter the impersonality of the mechanistic modern world and to recall man to an awareness of the mystery of being, Marcel spoke of the development of the individual in person-to-person dialogue.

Human existence finds its earthly satisfaction in a God-centered communion of persons that is characterized by mutual fidelity and hope.

Major Books of Gabriel Marcel

- Being and Having, 1935
- Creative Fidelity, 1964
- The Existential Background of Human Dignity, 1963
- Homo Viator, 1962
- Le Chemin de Crete, 1936
- Man Against Mass Society, 1955
- Metaphysical Journal, 1927
- The Mystery of Being: Reflection and Mystery, 1950
- The Mystery of Being: Faith and Reality, 1950
- Philosophy of Existentialism, 1961
- Presence and Immortality, 1959
- Problematic Man, 1967
- Tragic Wisdom and Beyond, 1973
- Un Homme de Dieu, 1925

Quotes from Gabriel Marcel

- "This detachment (poverty, chastity, etc.) must not be mere amputation; everything which is shaken off must be simultaneously found again at a higher level." (from "Man and God: Passages Chosen and Arranged to Express a Mood About the Human and Divine" composed by Victor Gollancz, 1951)


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