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The Difficulty Of Being Courageously Vulnerable

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Chapter Summary

This chapter discusses the narrator's pessimistic accounts of love and friendship in À la recherche to draw out the shortcomings of Marcel's ethics and strengthen the notion of courageous vulnerability which takes into account the problems raised by À la recherche. It shows that while Marcel's ethics is at times too optimistic, and the narrator pessimistically rejects Marcellian presence and openness altogether, courageous vulnerability, engaging James' will to believe, strikes a balance between these two positions. The chapter synthesizes the different aspects of courageous vulnerability in a discussion of the notion of appeal, prominent in both Marcel's work and À la recherche. The appeal described by Marcel is explicitly moral and is closely connected to the notion of presence. The chapter discusses this kind of appeal and compares it to the appeal experienced by the narrator. This comparison leads into a final account of the ethical attitude of courageous vulnerability.

Keywords: À la recherche; courageous vulnerability; James; Marcel



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