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Vagueness And Mystery

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Chapter Summary

This chapter focuses on situations in which felt knowledge and courageous vulnerability are absent, bringing William James and Gabriel Marcel into the discussion in order to explore what happens when the privileged moment does not come. William James and Henri Bergson have many interests and concerns in common. James' notion of anhedonia is discussed in the context of existential philosophy, and this discussion introduces the distinction made by Gabriel Marcel between problem and mystery. The chapter shows a close affinity between the philosophies of Bergson, James, and Marcel on several issues. First, Bergson's and James' discussions of habit, language, and aesthetic sensitivity in the broadest sense help further understand the nature of the privileged moment. The issues of meaning and truth take on their full significance in the discussion of the sentiment of rationality and anhedonia.

Keywords: anhedonia; courageous vulnerability; Gabriel Marcel; Henri Bergson; William James



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