Friday, April 10, 2015


I've come to the end of a few reading series: series of books that I've always wanted to get through. My only disappointment was that I found Gibbon's Decline and Fall tedious: well written, but it grew repetitious.

I started Copleston's history of philosophy but maybe not yet. I decided instead to re-attack 20th century philosophy. I'd dipped into Jaspers and Heidegger decades ago, but now is time to do it better. My ambition was fueled by Paul Spade's class notes.

He sets Sartre nicely in the train of work from Kant onwards, through Husserl and to the man himself. He's also got a Sartre cook book which is worth a look.

Anyway, that might take me to Being and Nothingness eventually, but the notes themselves are great reading. I commend them to you.


One reason is just pure intellectual curiosity.

Another is that our culture is shaped by the theories of dead philosophers; although few realise it.

Another is that I'm interested to think through Sartre's philosophy as one for whom personhood is basic: God is, and God is love, before all else. Nothing else is more basic; although for the materialist, matter and its random dance in energy is basic. But, how dull. I just wonder where Sartre sets his work on the basis of his own first philosophy, or metaphysical foundation.

This then throws light on the theological angle. I've not looked with any diligence, but I'm not aware of anything publicly available on the internet equivalent to Spade's notes that deals with the contours of 20th century theology, whether from an evangelical perspective or not. I'd hope there are such works available for theological students, but they are probably locked in the very precious ivory towers of religious academia, a group that retains a separate priestcraft type of culture. This is sadly regrettable, benefiting no one but bringing intellectual costs to the church at large instead.  

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