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Heretical Essays in the Philosophy of History   Jan Patocka

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ISBN 0-8126-9337-X $19.95        paper
200 pages
(November 1996)


ISBN 0-8126-9336-1 $42.95      cloth
200 pages
(November 1996)


Heretical Essays in the Philosophy of History

Jan Patočka

Heretical Essays is Patočka's final work, and one of his most exciting and iconoclastic. Patočka begins with prehistory, approached through the "natural world" as conceived by Husserl and Heidegger.

According to Patočka, nature is as an alien construct, and history, which began as a quest for higher meaning, ends with life as self-sustaining consumption. Patočka explains how Europe declined from its Greek heritage to seek power rather than truth, splintering into ethnic subdivisions, and then how the Enlightenment moved Europe from an ethical to a material orientation.

This book includes a translation of the Preface to the French Edition by Paul Ricoeur.

"Finally available in English, this book is a challenging meditation on the deep tensions between nihilism and liberation which prevail at the core of the 'problematicity' defining the historical condition of modern man. Patočka's is the most important Czech philosopher of this century and one of the greatest names in the history of the phenomenological movement."
—Jacques Taminiaux
Boston University


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