By Robert G. Olson

Crucial advisor to at least one of the main influential inspiration structures of our century. Stressing the paintings of Heidegger and Sartre, it bargains a cautious and goal exam of the existentialist place and values — freedom of selection, person dignity, own love, inventive attempt — and solutions to the everlasting questions of the human .

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In the Confucian world, this notion of one’s imperfection, deeply lodged in a conception of absolute virtue attainable only in the past, becomes a guide for an ethic of duty toward the past. In the Christian world, however, the deep past is where the story of imperfection itself begins, with original sin. This constitutive sin only confirms the impossibility of absolute worldly virtue—worldly existence itself being a state of fall, existence outside of the Garden. Virtue, then, becomes a property of another world toward which one gravitates in one’s movement toward death and return to God in the future, and one’s perspective turns away from the death of the past.

10 This perpetually dissatisfied drive for prominence parallels the very activity of the empire itself. Since the empire considers itself to be the world, it is therefore— unlike the city-state or the enclave—unlimited and beyond parochial imagination. The logic of tragedy is thus built into this effort at transcendence. When after arduous labor one reaches the summit of the hierarchy of possible offices, one can only see someone else’s flag having been planted there long before one’s own arrival.

The point is brought out more clearly in lore surrounding the Hebrew Bible, much of which concerns the trials and tribulations of governance. In one version of an interesting story that apparently continued to circulate among nomads, who recognized no governance but were aware of some aspects of embellished biblical tradition, there is no ambiguity as to who is a more desirable character if one had to choose—the governor or the philosopher. God, so the tale goes, wanted to establish governance in the land during the times of David.

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