Thomas C. Anderson's Commentary on Gabriel Marcel's the Mystery of Being PDF

By Thomas C. Anderson

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Extra info for Commentary on Gabriel Marcel's the Mystery of Being (Marquette Studies in Philosophy, No 46)

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Marcel’s recurring question is, what is truth that is the source of those values experienced in the wife, in acknowledging the facts of the child’s condition, in the scientific result, in human life? And what is the source of people’s receptiveness to such values or, metaphorically, of their receptiveness to the illumination of the light? ) purifies the husband, the parents, the scientist, those who recognize the dignity of human life, so that they have the courage and strength to overcome their desire to see things as they would like them to be and instead open themselves to the light and acknowledge things as they are?

He adds that the most concrete illustration of this living center would be found in a novel whose author described in some detail the surroundings in which a character, such as the would be monk, has lived and the influences they have exerted on him. That would enable the reader to understand the perspective of that character and thus why he reacts as he does to a disappointing  romance. Another thing that Marcel says about the living center of a subject or self is that it is an essentially incomplete structure, since it exists in space and time and extends beyond our direct awareness of it [I, 67].

For instance, in the Metaphysical Journal he states that, like our experience of our bodily existence, sensation is a “pure immediate ... ” There are no mental steps one can go through, such as translation or reasoning, to derive or construct  MJ, 329. See also, 331. 54 Commentary on Marcel’s Mystery of Being sensation, for sensation is our most fundamental experience. In fact, feeling embodied and sensing the world are “data on which the mind must  be based” to perform any activity, he says, including those of translation and reasoning.

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