Writing in the late 1990s about the tendency of encyclopedists to designate existentialism a finished project, Thomas W. Busch cautions that such hasty periodization risks distorting our understanding of the contemporary philosophical scene and of depriving ourselves of vital resources for critiquing contemporary forms of oppression, what Garbriel Marcel referred to as processes of dehumanization. We should recall that "existentialism made possible present forms of Continental philosophy, all of which assume the existentialist critique of dualism, essentialism, and totality in modern philosophy," and we should acknowledge that "existentialism remains capable of haunting today's scene as an important and relevant critic."
Offered in honor of Thomas W. Busch after his more than fifty years of work in philosophy, the essays in this volume attest to existentialism as a living project. The essays are written by scholars who championed existentialism in America and by scholars who now seek to extend existentialist insights into new territory, including into research in cognitive science. The essays range from studies of key figures and texts to explorations of urgent topics such as the nature of freedom and the possibility of what Busch calls "incorporation," a sense of communicative solidarity that respects difference and disagreement.