Gabriel Honoré Marcel

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Marcel, Gabriel Honoré


Born Dec., 7, 1889, in Paris; died there Oct. 9, 1973. French philosopher, playwright, and literary critic; founder of Catholic existentialism. Son of a diplomat.

Marcel graduated from the Sorbonne and became a teacher of philosophy. In his youth he was influenced by H. Bergson, L. Brunschvicg, and J. Royce. In 1929, under the influence of F. Mauriac, he converted to Catholicism. After existentialism was condemned by a papal encyclical (1950), he called his philosophy Neosocratism or Christian Socratism. He was the author of dramas and a large number of works on philosophy, theater, music, and literary criticism. In 1952 he became a member of the Academy of Moral and Political Sciences.

Breaking with the tradition of Catholic Scholasticism represented by Thomism, Marcel considered any rational validation of religion to be impossible. His attention was focused on the problem of being, refracted through individual experience, and the existence of the individual man. In his basic work Being and Having (1935), Marcel makes a sharp distinction between the world of “objectivity,” dissociated from the physical world, and the world of “existence,” where the dualism of subject and object is overcome and all relations with the world are accepted as personal. In this regard, reality for Marcel is split into the authentic world of being and the nonauthentic world of possession. On the epistemological level Marcel opposes “mystery” (intuitive, emotional-ethical comprehension) to the “problem” (abstract rational knowledge). Religious and moral conflicts constitute the basis of the majority of Marcel’s dramas (Disrupted World, 1933; Thirst, 1938; Emissary, 1945; Rome Is No Longer in Rome, 1951). Marcel’s social views are characterized by romantic idealization of patriarchal relationships of the Middle Ages, bitter criticism of technology as a “broken world” that turns man into a thing, and rejection of any sociopolitical actions of the masses. On the whole, Marcel’s philosophy reflects the crisis of bourgeois consciousness and culture.


Journal métaphysique. Paris, 1927.
Eire et avoir. Paris, 1935.
Homo viator, Paris [1944].
Le Mystere de Vetre, 2 vols. Paris, 1951.
Les Hommes contre l’humain. Paris, 1951.
Rome n’est plus dans Rome. Paris, 1951.
L ’Homme problematique. Paris [1955].
Présence et immortalite. Paris, 1959.
L’heure thedtrale. Paris, 1959.
Essai de philosophic concrete. Paris, 1967.


Tavrizian, G. M. “Etika ekzistentsializma i khristianskaia moral’.” In the collection Sovremennyi ekzistentsializm. Moscow, 1966.
Existentialisme chretien: G. Marcel. Paris, 1947.
Chenu, J. Le Théătre de G. Marcel et sa signification métaphysique. Paris, 1948.
Troisfontaines, R. De /’Existence a Vetre, 2 vols. Namur [1953].
Sottiaux, E. G. Marcel, philosophe et dramaturge. Louvain, 1956.
Gallagher, K. T. The Philosophy of G. Marcel New York, 1962.
Widmer, C. G. Marcel et la theisme existentielle. Paris, 1971.


References in periodicals archive ?
The cautionary ontological approach to technology of Gabriel Marcel.
MALGRE une oeuvre dramatique considerable et interessante, Gabriel Marcel est connu surtout comme philosophe.
In "Against Ideology: Gabriel Marcel's Philosophy of Vocation," Terence Sweeney considers philosopher Gabriel Marcel in the context of the numerous forms of ideology that flourished in the first part of the twentieth century and offers a careful account of Marcel's rejection of ideology through the search for a concrete understanding of the human person in the world.
Relation trust is treated as 'I-Thou trusting': here, Godfrey relies on existentialist thinkers Martin Buber and Gabriel Marcel.
Ora, todo este movimento, em que sociedade, imaginario, e tecnologia se imbricam, se inscreve em um processo inexoravel do que Gabriel Marcel chamou de tecnicas de envilecimento.
Gabriel Marcel, Homo Viator: Introduction to a Metaphysic of Hope.
Gabriel Marcel and Martin Heidegger have both expressed considerable concern about the nature of modern technology and its influence in the world.
Hormis les composantes chretiennes des positions du personnalisme de Maritain et de Mounier (que l'on ne saurait associer philosophiquement au thomisme de Maritain), nous trouvons les memes affirmations philosophiques chez des penseurs aussi, disparates que Gabriel Marcel ou les existentialistes italiens Abbagnano, Paci et Pareyson (il y a un personnalisme de Pareyson).
The late French philosopher Gabriel Marcel more or less defined service as "to be at the disposal of others.
PUBLISHED IN 2002 as O Homem Duplicado (literally, "the duplicated man"), The Double aspires to be a thriller of the kind one imagines Gabriel Marcel, who observed that existentialism turned life into a thriller, would have recognized if not relished.
Meno compatta risulta la terza parte, intitolata "Esistenza, biografia, 'oltre'", composta da due scritti: il primo esamina le convergenze e le divergenze poetiche e filosofiche che caratterizzano i giudizi sul teatro pirandelliano espressi da Gabriel Marcel, il padre dell'esistenzialismo cattolico; il secondo illustra le ripercussioni che l'insegnamento di stilistica, impartito da Pirandello per quasi trent'anni, ha avuto a livello umano, intellettuale e sociale.