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By Leszek Kolakowski

For over a century, philosophers have argued that philosophy is very unlikely or dead, or either. even supposing the fundamental proposal dates again to the times of Socrates, there's nonetheless heated war of words in regards to the nature of fact, truth, wisdom, the great, and God. this can make little sensible distinction to our lives, however it leaves us with a sense of radical uncertainty, a sense defined by means of Kolakowski as "metaphysical horror." "The horror is this," he says, "if not anything really exists other than absolutely the, absolutely the is not anything; if not anything really exists other than myself, i'm nothing." the purpose of this booklet, for Kolakowski, is discovering a fashion out of this seeming lifeless end.

In a trenchant research that serves as an advent to just about all of Western philosophy, Kolakowski confronts those dilemmas head on via examinations of numerous popular philosophers together with Descartes, Spinoza, Husserl, and lots of of the Neo-Platonists. He reveals that philosophy won't offer definitive solutions to the basic questions, but the hunt itself transforms our lives. it might undermine such a lot of our certainties, but it nonetheless leaves room for our religious yearnings and non secular beliefs.

The ultimate sentence of the booklet captures the hopefulness that has survived the horror of nothingness while Kolakowski asks: "Is it no longer moderate to suspect that if life have been unnecessary and the universe without which means, we'd by no means have completed not just the power to visualize another way, yet even the facility to entertain this very thought—to wit, that lifestyles is unnecessary and the universe with out meaning?" the reply, after all, is obvious. Now it really is as much as readers to absorb the problem of his arguments.

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