Existentialism edited by Robert C. Solomon
John Shand enjoys a collection of essays about existentialism.
This is aneclectic collection of extracts, as befits the decision of the editor, Robert C. Solomon, not to define ‘existentialism’ tightly. Existentialism is undoubtedly tricky to define, but Solomon must have had something in mind when he put together this collection other than just following what people habitually call ‘existentialism’. At any rate, it includes those philosophical giants most associated with existentialism – Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Heidegger, Jaspers, Sartre, Merleau-Ponty – as well as slightly less famous philosophers similarly implicated – de Unamuno, Marcel, de Beauvoir, Hazel Barnes, Martin Buber, Paul Tillich, Keiji Nishitani, Colin Wilson, Viktor Frankl – and finally those whose existentialist credentials are embedded in more literary genres – Turgenev, Dostoyevsky, Hesse, Rilke, Kafka, Camus, Márquez, Beckett, Borges, Pinter, Heller, Roth, Miller.
Going where angels, and even Solomon, fear to tread, I shall take a stab at defining existentialism.