Book notes by R. Dumain

Abelard and Heloise, or the Writer and the Human: A Series of Humorous Philosophical Aphorisms (1834). Ludwig Feuerbach. Translated and with an introduction by Eric v.d. Luft, foreword by Angela Moreira. North Syracuse, NY: Gegensatz Press, 2012.

[Page, no.:]

16, 18: quotes

23: humor

27 #11: word vs kiss
31 #21: reason is middle class
33: #27: poetry vs philosophy
      #28: conscience
41 #38: thoughts dependent
46 #47: inside & outside
46-7 #49: knowledge is life
53 #55: spiritualism
56 #57: afterlife
58 #57: fantasy, return to Greeks

60 #58: Spinoza, Leibniz
61-4: #59: Spinoza, Leibniz. ___ in books, philosophy
63-4 # 59: Leibniz & Spinoza
64-5 # 61: good books like foreign lgs.
66 #62: slandering philosophy
68 # 64: old vs young
76 #65: (individual) origin of spirit
79 #65: Descartes & spirit
82 #65: eminent spirits
85 #65: what spirit is. Leibniz.
86 #65: Spinoza, Descartes
90-3 #65: philosophers
94 #66: writers’ truth
95 #66: Leibniz
96ff #66: spirit a rough ride
99-100 #67: for writers life is in the writing. [person?]
101 #67: philosopher’s single-mindedness
107 #69: Leibniz & Byron

110 #72: writers as fathers
111 #74: Writers as humans—put genuine self into work
112-3 #76: how writer treats humans
113 #77: marriage of writer & human
119 #81: letter to writer (self)
124 #83: writer’s response
125 #84 [end]: writer <—> human love

[Notes from 12 February 2018]

Feuerbach’s endeavor to convince the public of the need to understand the writer is what ‘the writer and the human’ is all about. The ‘human’ refers to both the writer as a human among humans and the human as the everyday life of the non-intellectual public. Feuerbach passionately delineates the writer’s relationship between his writing and his mundane life, and the tumultuous relationship between the writer and the public.

Many philosophers and other writers are cited as examples. I have singled out are Descartes, Spinoza, and Leibniz for attention. The first quotes presented give a flavor of what Feuerbach is trying to say about the transmutation of the essence of great writers and thinkers as real people into their works. Feuerbach argues that their whole souls are expressed in their writing and thus no two philosophers can be imagined to switch places with the ideas associated with them. Note the contrast between Leibniz and Spinoza.

Feuerbach’s point is well taken, but this perspective bypasses an historical and ideological comprehension of the social origin and underlying significance of philosophical ideas, which must be taken into account in interaction with the dispositions, socialization, and situations of individual philosophers. Feuerbach does not advocate a subjectivist, irrationalist perspective on philosophical positions to be found in Nietzsche, William James, or Carl Jung, but this omission should be noted, in light of the criticisms that would later be made of Feuerbach by Stirner, Marx, and contemporary scholars.

24 February 2021

Quotes from Abelard and Heloise, or the Writer and the Human
by Ludwig Feuerbach

Philosophy as Autobiography: Alternatives to Subjectivism
by R. Dumain

Descartes & Marxism: Selected Bibliography

Spinoza & Marxism: Selected Bibliography (with Basic Spinoza Web Guide)

Leibniz & Ideology: Selected Bibliography

Biographical and Psychological Dimensions of Philosophy: Selected Bibliography

Ludwig Feuerbach: A Bibliography

The Young Hegelians: Selected Bibliography

Marx and Marxism Web Guide

Historical Surveys of Atheism, Freethought, Rationalism, Skepticism, and Materialism:
Selected Works

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Uploaded 12 February 2021
Note added 24 February 2021

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