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Tragic Sense Of Life Paperback – November 13, 2013


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 228 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (November 13, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1461059879
  • ISBN-13: 978-1461059875
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 7.9 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #90,766 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

From the Back Cover

This is the masterpiece of Miguel de Unamuno, a member of the group of Spanish intellectuals and philosophers known as the "Generation of '98," and a writer whose work dramatically influenced a wide range of 20th-century literature.

His down-to-earth demeanor and no-nonsense outlook makes this 1921 book a favorite of intellectuals to this day, a practical, sensible discussion of the war between faith and reason that consumed the twentieth century and continues to rage in the twenty-first century.

de Unamuno's philosophy is not the stuff of a rarefied realm but an integral part of fleshly, sensual life, metaphysics that speaks to daily living and the real world. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.


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Customer Reviews

A book I have read twice and hope to do so again and again.
Donald M. Brooks
This is one of the best and most important books I've read, and I'd recommend it to anyone capable of sitting down and reading it.
Ricardo Signes
This book is written by an incredible author and philosopher.
CHELSEA E BARNETT-CANNON

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

57 of 62 people found the following review helpful By Ricardo Signes on March 6, 2003
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Other reviewers have called this book "philosophy for real men." Unamuno begins with this assertion. He rejects the Socratic "Man" as a creature of thought and not of substance. "Soy un hombre de carne y hueso!" he says: "I am a man of flesh and bone."
He works to provide the basis for a belief based on on reason, which he calls anti-vital, but on necessity. It is necessary for us, as men of flesh and bone, to believe that we can exist indefinitely. Reason tells us that we cannot. It is the confluence of these two beliefs that creates the tragic sense of life.
This is one of the best and most important books I've read, and I'd recommend it to anyone capable of sitting down and reading it.
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42 of 46 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 27, 2003
Format: Paperback
One of my favorite books in the field of philosophy. Unamuno seems to effortlessly cut through so much of the time-wasting academic drollery and nonsense that often clutters up this vital area of study. This isn't a philosopher getting lost in his own inane definitions and absurd mind games, this is the work of a man who lives to think, and thinks because he is in awe of life. Highly recommended to those who philosophize because they need to, not because they are trying to make other people think they are intelligent...
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34 of 37 people found the following review helpful By New Age of Barbarism on January 9, 2007
Format: Paperback
_Tragic Sense of Life_ is a translation of _Del Sentimiento Tragico de la Vida_, originally published in 1913, by the Spanish (Basque) existentialist philosopher Miguel de Unamuno, translated by J. E. Crawford Flitch. This work is an important one in Spanish literature and offers an attempt to expound upon a uniquely Spanish philosophy (influenced in particular by for example Cervantes and his _Don Quixote). This is also an important existentialist work, which considers the interplay and contrast between faith and reason. Miguel de Unamuno (1864-1936) was a Roman Catholic Spanish intellectual who participated to some extent in the Basque nationalist movement (though he remained skeptical of Basque separatism) and was witness to the Carlist wars. Unamuno also lived through the fascist revolution in Spain and eventually came to oppose the Franco regime because of its brutality. Unamuno's life was one of profound religious crisis (perhaps brought on by the early deaths of his father and his son), and he attempted to resolve this crisis in his writings. However, despite the fact that Unamuno was and remained a Roman Catholic, he was heavily influenced by the Protestant Kierkegaard, and thus his work may be described as having a particularly "Lutheran" aspect to it. In particular, in his understanding of the relationship between faith and reason and in the place of individual autonomy within his philosophy, Unamuno's philosophy may be understood as "Lutheran". It is for this reason that his work was rejected by Catholics and eventually placed on the Index of Prohibited Books. Nevertheless, Unamuno was to remain a Catholic and to argue that the Spanish understanding was a profoundly Catholic one.Read more ›
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37 of 44 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 24, 1998
Format: Paperback
This isn't another book which tries to explain life (and death, religion, love, etc.) from a logical point of view. This a book written for men who live, suffer, love and get drunk sometimes. In other words, you don't have to have read a lot of philosophy before, you just have to live in this world, with its everyday troubles. If you like to read quality books, this is the one I recommend.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Bodhi Gaia on May 15, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Unamuno's contention is that man's hunger for personal immortality is central and ineradicable. All religion and culture stems from our stark awareness of our mortality and our need for immortality. From man's heart he builds hope in an eternal, because he instinctively hungers for personal immortality. Yet man's reason convinces him there can be no immortality, thus feeling and reason -- heart and head -- are in everlasting deadlock. For Unamuno, all attempts to resolve this deadlock are futile, and ultimately it is this deadlock, the uncertainty it fosters, that forms the foundation for faith. It is this very uncertainty, this longing for immortality in the face of apparently inevitable annihilation, which forms the basis of "the tragic sense of life."

It was the attempt to resolve this conflict between faith and reason, by St. Thomas Aquinas and others, which produced "the Rationalist dissolution" of scholastic philosophy. Philosophers and theologians who attempted to "rationalize" the existence of God only ended up losing their real faith in God, substituting for it faith in the God idea.

Unamuno contends that man needs to believe in his personal immortality, and that those who say they have accepted personal annihilation are in self-deception. He further asserts that God created man, and man, in turn, creates god, each in the other's image. He speculates that all of evolution, throughout the whole universe, is a process of consciousness, or spirit, seeking to free itself from matter. God suffers, as each finite being suffers.

This idea reminded me of the Hindu notion that God loses himself in each being, engaging in divine Lila or play by pretending to be simply the finite being, and then craving reunification with the All.
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