By Stefanos Geroulanos
French philosophy replaced dramatically within the moment zone of the 20 th century. within the wake of worldwide battle I and, later, the Nazi and Soviet mess ups, significant philosophers resembling Kojève, Levinas, Heidegger, Koyré, Sartre, Merleau-Ponty, and Hyppolite argued that guy may now not fill the void left via the "death of God" with no additionally calling up the worst in human background and denigrating the honour of the human topic. In reaction, they contributed to a brand new trust that guy should still now not be considered because the foundation for life, notion, and ethics; quite, human nature grew to become depending on different ideas and buildings, together with Being, language, proposal, and tradition. This argument, which was once to be paramount for existentialism and structuralism, got here to dominate postwar suggestion. This highbrow historical past of those advancements argues that at their middle lay a brand new atheism that defied humanism as inadequate and eventually violent.
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Additional resources for An Atheism that Is Not Humanist Emerges in French Thought (Cultural Memory in the Present)
The crucial postwar development was the tearing of the humanist mantle that followed the 1944 libération, after the résistance had temporarily succeeded in bringing back a sense of humanist accord against Nazism. From the failure of the left-wing of the résistance to effect a social revolution or at least substantially affect postwar society arose a fragmented legacy in which the principal claimants to genuine humanism—namely, Marxism and existentialism—involved themselves in an intellectual war through which they undermined not only each other’s claims but also the very survival of humanism in the political and intellectual legacy of the resistance and the postwar intellectual Left.
In interweaving the three broad histories considered here, each has a temporal and theoretical focus. Part One addresses the 1930s emergence of a phenomenologically inflected, antifoundational realist critique of transcendence that leads to the adoption of Introduction atheist and anti-anthropocentric anthropology and derails the progressivist and idealist paradigm. Part Two focuses on the postwar radicalization of the antihumanist attitude, the competition between different antihumanisms, and the establishment across philosophical systems of negative anthropology.
The Death of Man (1926)? In the coda of his 1926 The Temptation of the West, the young André Malraux raised a question that would acquire major importance in his literary and political-philosophical life. If European Man was the heart of a culture and a system of thought, and if this culture and system of thought were rotten from the inside, did this mean that man was in fact dead? In the course of his intellectual career, Malraux would time and again invoke this question only to turn around and find a solution for it in the political or metaphysical causes he championed.