The Thomas Merton Center at Bellarmine University

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Author QuotedAlfred Stern
Title QuotedSartre, His Philosophy and Existential Psychoanalysis
Date (Year/Month/Day)1968/05/06
ImprintNew York : Dell. 1967
QuotationA. Stern says of Sartre, "Each philosopher can only give the truth of his ownexistence. That is to say, philosophy is not a universal or impersonal science. Each individual perspective requires the others as its complements. The existentialist world view is determined by his actions and his means of action." [Note 7: Alfred Stern, Sartre, His Philosophy and Existential Psychoanalysis (New York: Dell, 1967). Merton's opening sentence is an exact quote: "Each philosopher can only give the truth of his existence." The rest of the quote is either Merton's own journal writing or from another, unknown source.] Unamuno said, "Philosophy is a product of each philosopher and each philosopher is a man of flesh and blood who addresses himself to other men of flesh and blood like himself, and whatever he may do, he does not philosophize with his reason alone but with his will, his feeling, his flesh and blood, with his whole soul and his whole body. It is the man who philosophizes in us." [Note 8: The Unamuno quotation is from Stern's Sartre Merton inserted the words "whol" and "in" in the last sentence. Stern lists both the Spanish originalof Miguel de Unamuno's Del Sentimiento trogico de la Vida (Madrid, 1913; New York, 1959) and the American edition, The Tragic Sense of Life (New York: Dover Publications, 1954) as his sources.] Contrast Hegel, who said, "The teaching of philosophy is precisely what frees man from the endless crowd of finite aims and intentions by making him so indifferent to them that their existence or nonexistence is to him a matter of no moment." Consistency.
JournalThe Other Side of the Mountain: The End of the Journey. The Journals of Thomas Merton, Volume 7, 1967-1968.; Edited by Patrick Hart, O.C.S.O. / San Francisco : Harper Collins. 1998, p. 95-96
Link to Merton's Copy