William Barrett





William Barrett

Author profile


born
in New York, The United States
May 25, 1913

died
October 08, 1992

gender
male


About this author

William Christopher Barrett (1913 – 1992) was a professor of philosophy at New York University from 1950 to 1979. Precociously, he began post-secondary studies at the City College of New York when 15 years old. He received his PhD at Columbia University. He was an editor of Partisan Review and later the literary critic of The Atlantic Monthly magazine. He was well-known for writing philosophical works for nonexperts. Perhaps the best known among these were Irrational Man: A Study in Existential Philosophy and The Illusion of Technique , which remain in print.


Average rating: 4.09 · 2,546 ratings · 110 reviews · 16 distinct works · Similar authors
Irrational Man: A Study in ...
4.07 of 5 stars 4.07 avg rating — 1,193 ratings — published 1958 — 8 editions
Rate this book
Clear rating
Death of the Soul
3.77 of 5 stars 3.77 avg rating — 48 ratings — published 1986 — 4 editions
Rate this book
Clear rating
The Illusion of Technique: ...
4.49 of 5 stars 4.49 avg rating — 37 ratings3 editions
Rate this book
Clear rating
What Is Existentialism?
3.53 of 5 stars 3.53 avg rating — 19 ratings — published 1947
Rate this book
Clear rating
The Truants: Adventures Amo...
3.33 of 5 stars 3.33 avg rating — 12 ratings — published 1982 — 2 editions
Rate this book
Clear rating
Time of Need: Forms of Imag...
5.0 of 5 stars 5.00 avg rating — 3 ratings — published 1972 — 3 editions
Rate this book
Clear rating
iProperty: Profiting from I...
by
3.67 of 5 stars 3.67 avg rating — 3 ratings — published 2008 — 4 editions
Rate this book
Clear rating
Philosophy in the Twentieth...
by
4.0 of 5 stars 4.00 avg rating — 1 rating2 editions
Rate this book
Clear rating
The History & Antiquities o...
0.0 of 5 stars 0.00 avg rating — 0 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
Zen Buddhism: Selected Writ...
by
4.12 of 5 stars 4.12 avg rating — 1,223 ratings — published 1956 — 3 editions
Rate this book
Clear rating
More books by William Barrett…
“Man's feeling of homelessness, of alienation has been intensified in the midst of a bureaucratized, impersonal mass society. He has come to feel himself an outsider even within his own human society. He is trebly alienated: a stranger to God, to nature, and to the gigantic social apparatus that supplies his material wants.

But the worst and final form of alienation, toward which indeed the others tend, is man's alienation from his own self. In a society that requires of man only that he perform competently his own particular social function, man becomes identified with this function, and the rest of his being is allowed to subsist as best it can - usually to be dropped below the surface of consciousness and forgotten.”
William Barrett, Irrational Man: A Study in Existential Philosophy

“Not only do I not know what I believe, but also I cannot know for sure that I believe. How can I define precisely what my attitude is toward something it cannot conceivably grasp? Can I be said to be in the relation of "belief," in any usual sense of that term, toward something that I cheerfully and readily acknowledge to be absolutely incomprehensible to me?

(...)
No man can be sure that he is in faith; and we can say of no man with certainty that he has or does not have faith.
(...)

Not only does faith always carry its opposite uncertainty within itself, but also this faith is never a static condition that is -had-, but a movement toward... And toward what? In the nature of the case we cannot state this "what." We cannot make a flat assertion about our faith like a simple assertion that we have blue eyes or are six feet tall. More than this, the affirmation of our faith can never be made in the simple indicative mood at all. The statement "I believe" can only be uttered as a prayer.”
William Barrett, The Illusion of Technique: A Search for Meaning in a Technological Civilization

“The bond that attaches us to the life outside ourselves is the same bond that holds us to our own life.”
William Barrett, The Illusion of Technique: A Search for Meaning in a Technological Civilization

Topics Mentioning This Author

topics posts views last activity  
The History Book ...: * WHAT IS EVERYBODY READING NOW? 2208 1822 Dec 01, 2014 09:20AM