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Nostalgia for the Absolute

Not as profound as I’d hoped. The mythology presents a total explanation of history and humanity’s place in the cosmos; quite often it claims that the analysis is based on science, though it will tend to be unfalsifiable and so not qualify as a scientific theory.

I find myself disagreeing with Steiner’s overall conclusion. Steinerauthor on Management and Planning. Love and death, Eros and Thanatos. A mythology, in Steiner’s sense of the word, has an easily recognizable beginning and development: Didn’t leave much to hope for, but Steiner also seems to shrug at the current possibilities. Steiner himself finds that the disinterested search for abstract truth is a contingent historical phenomenon; it arose within a certain specific cultural milieu and flourished for certain very specific reasons within that dynamic.

Doubling down on the Enlightenment despite truth being potentially harmful? The final section deals with the Pursuit of Truth as the new ultimate hot thing. It definitely pointed out the impossibility all systematic philosophy fo I bought this CBC Massey lecture when it first appeared a couple of millennia ago – Carla rated it it was amazing Jun 02, He has written for The New Yorker for over thirty years, contributing over two absolkto reviews.


Return to Book Page. The A good, short book that seems thoroughly sensible. Refresh and try again.

George Steiner doesn’t go into details for why movements with these characteristics resonate so deeply with humanity. Books by George Steiner. Steiner concludes from absoluti discussion that truth is paramount and that man should seek truth even at the risk of his own destruction. What the species strives for, finally, is not survival and perpetuation, but repose, perfect inertness.

While there is much that can be said here, my own thoughts largely fall into two areas: But this detour of life and consciousness will sooner or later end.

Steiner suggests that the Marxist, the psychoanalyst, and the anthropologist would be furious if you told him his beliefs and analyses of the human condition “are mythologies and allegoric constructs directly derivative from the religious world-image which he has sought to replace. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Additionally, Steiner accepted the post of Professor of English and Comparative Literature at the University of Geneva inwhich he held for 20 years, teaching in four languages. Aug 08, Jerry Wall rated it it was ok. Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Alas, the pursuit of scientific truth – subject to falsification, experimental proof, and logical constraints – is not something that can ignites the passions of all hearts.


We live on a placid island of ignorance in the midst of black seas of infinity, and it was not meant that stelner-nostalgia should voyage far. Be the first to ask a question about Nostalgia for the Absolute. In the final sbsoluto, he talks about the history of scientific truth – a relatively short history – and how thinkers from the Enlightenment onward hoped that the pursuit of scientific truth would replace religious myths and mysteries.

In fact, George Steiner goes one step further and calls these movem I came on this book through a tweet by Marc Andreesen, where he claimed that it handily explained a lot of modern-day Weltschmerz.

Nostalgia for the Absolute by George Steiner

The consummation of the libido lies in death” p. Above all, it offers a contract of messianic promise concerning the future. This lecture is more lighthearted: Jose Salinero rated it really liked it Dec 12, The truth, I believe, does have a future; absolkto man does is much less clear.