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SAAP Annual Meeting

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Gabriel Marcel and American Philosophy

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David Rodick
Xavier University - Cincinnati, OH
United States

“A kind of magnetic field stretches around my life. [O]ne of the poles of the magnetic field was and remains, in spite of everything, America.”

Marcel’s thought is deeply informed by the American tradition. Some of Marcel’s earliest work focused upon the idealism of Josiah Royce (1855-1916). By the time Marcel completed his Royce writings, he moved beyond idealism – adopting a form of “metaphysical realism” he attributed to William Ernest Hocking (1873-1966). Marcel would later befriend an American philosopher named Henry Bugbee (1915-1999). These important philosophical relationships will be explored using the Marcellian notions of a broken-world, the primacy of intersubjective being, and the reflexive nature of secondary reflection. These philosophical relationships are not coincidental. They are expressions of Marcel’s deep Christian faith.


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