"Great Thinkers in 60 Minutes Volume 2” comprises the five books “Marx in 60 Minutes”, “Freud in 60 Minutes”, “Sartre in 60 Minutes”, “Heidegger in 60 Minutes”, and “Camus in 60 Minutes”. Each short study sums up the key idea at the heart of each respective thinker and asks the question: “Of what use is this key idea to us today?” But above all the philosophers get to speak for themselves. Their most important statements are prominently presented, as direct quotations, in speech balloons with appropriate graphics, with exact indication of the source of each quote in the author’s works. This light-hearted but nonetheless scholarly precise rendering of the ideas of each thinker makes it easy for the reader to acquaint him- or herself with the great questions of our lives. Because every philosopher who has achieved global fame has posed the “question of meaning”: what is it that holds, at the most essential level, the world together? In Marx, it is the relations of production – that is to say, the conditions under which we labour and produce the goods we need – which ultimately determine our sense of our lives, our thinking, and our whole culture. In Freud, it is the libido and thus the energy of our drives, which we can either live out, repress, or sublimate. In Sartre it is the absolutely free human will which compels Man to make himself what he is. In Heidegger, what absorbs us is the struggle for the authenticity of ‘Dasein’ and the ‘care’ for the Being of the world. Camus is the only philosopher in this series who gives no answer at all to the “question of meaning”. There is no “meaning”, says Camus; life is absurd and depends merely upon a sequence of random chance events. In other words, the meaning of the world and thus of our own lives remains, among philosophers, a topic of great controversy. One thing, though, is sure: each of these five thinkers struck, from his own perspective, one brilliant spark out of that complex crystal that is the truth.
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