Toward the concrete: Marcel as existentialist

After reviewing how Jean Wahl interprets the early Marcel, specifically his Metaphysical Journal, in a seminal work whose title captured the philosophical spiritof the 1930s, Vers le concret (“Toward the Concrete”), I discuss the existentialist style of philosophizing, offer five criteria for judging a philosopher to be an existentialist and submit Marcel’s work to each. I turn to the appropriateness of calling him a neo-Socratic philosopher, an appellation he seemed to prefer, and conclude with some observations of how this mixture of the Socratic and the existentialist places Marcel in the lineage of those like Michel Foucault and Pierre Hadot who speak of philosophy less as a doctrine and more as a way of life
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