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Writing in the late 1990s about the tendency of encyclopedists to designate existentialism a finished project, Thomas W. Busch cautions that such hasty periodization risks distorting our understanding of the contemporary philosophical scene and of depriving ourselves of vital resources for critiquing contemporary forms of oppression, what Garbriel Marcel referred to as processes of dehumanization. We should recall that ""existentialism made possible present forms of Continental philosophy, all of which assume the existentialist critique of dualism, essentialism, and totality in modern philosophy,"" and we should acknowledge that ""existentialism remains capable of haunting today's scene as an important and relevant critic.""
Offered in honor of Thomas W. Busch after his more than fifty years of work in philosophy, the essays in this volume attest to existentialism as a living project. The essays are written by scholars who championed existentialism in America and by scholars who now seek to extend existentialist insights into new territory, including into research in cognitive science. The essays range from studies of key figures and texts to explorations of urgent topics such as the nature of freedom and the possibility of what Busch calls ""incorporation,"" a sense of communicative solidarity that respects difference and disagreement.
""While each essay opens up a world of its own and invites the reader along a skillfully guided argument, the entire collection is a refreshing contribution to the existentialist scholarship. Instead of a partisan defense of the tradition's timelessness, this volume faithfully echoes Thomas W. Busch's sober approach and demonstrates the thematic timeliness of existentialism.""
--Farhang Erfani, American University; author of Aesthetics of Autonomy: Sartre and Ricoeur on Emancipation, Authenticity, and Selfhood
""This collection testifies to the diverse and lasting impact of Tom Busch's thinking and teaching. Busch's interest in thinkers including Marcel, Sartre, Beauvoir, and Merleau-Ponty has translated, for his readers and students, into enduring contributions in fields as varied as feminist philosophy, political theory, cognitive science, and literary analysis. Many of these essays have inherited from Busch's teaching and writing the element of hopefulness that he himself found in existentialism and phenomenology.""
--Rebecca Steiner Goldner, St. John's College, Annapolis
Gregory Hoskins, Assistant Professor of Philosophy, is the Assistant Director of the Augustine and Culture Seminar Program at Villanova University.
J. C. Berendzen is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Loyola University New Orleans.