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The Philosophy of Despair   By: (1851-1931)

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In "The Philosophy of Despair" by David Starr Jordan, the author delves into the complex realm of despair and presents a thought-provoking analysis of this deeply human experience. Through a series of meticulously crafted arguments and compelling examples, Jordan explores the different facets of despair, its origins, and its potential ramifications on an individual's psyche.

Jordan's writing style is intellectually engaging and accessible, making this philosophical work accessible to a broad range of readers. He skillfully incorporates philosophical doctrines and psychological theories into his analysis, creating a multidimensional exploration of the concept of despair that is both informative and enlightening.

One noticeable strength of Jordan's work is his ability to intertwine his personal experiences with his philosophical inquiries. By doing so, he adds a deeply human and relatable dimension to his analysis, allowing readers to connect on a personal level and fostering a greater understanding of the subject matter.

In addition, Jordan elucidates the complexity of despair with great precision. He carefully dissects its various forms, from existential despair to romantic despair, illuminating different perspectives and shedding light on the deeply ingrained nature of despair in the human condition. Through this exploration, Jordan provides readers with a comprehensive framework to better comprehend and navigate their own experiences of despair.

Moreover, the book's organization is well-thought-out, with each chapter building upon the previous one, leading the reader on a logical progression through the various philosophical arguments. Jordan's writing is cogent and coherent, ensuring that readers can follow along easily, even when tackling complex philosophical notions.

However, one minor limitation of "The Philosophy of Despair" is its occasional reliance on obscure historical references and philosophical jargon. While this may pose a challenge to readers who are less familiar with these subjects, it does not significantly detract from the overall quality and accessibility of the book.

In conclusion, "The Philosophy of Despair" by David Starr Jordan is a compelling and intellectually stimulating exploration of the human experience of despair. Skillfully combining personal anecdotes, philosophical theories, and psychological insights, Jordan's book offers readers a profound understanding of the complexity of despair and serves as a valuable resource for anyone seeking to delve into the depths of the human psyche.

First Page:

The Philosophy of Despair


David Starr Jordan

To John Maxson Stillman In Token of Good Cheer

A darkening sky and a whitening sea, And the wind in the palm trees tall; Soon or late comes a call for me, Down from the mountain or up from the sea, Then let me lie where I fall.

And a friend may write for friends there be, On a stone from the gray sea wall, "Jungle and town and reef and sea I loved God's Earth and His Earth loved me, Taken for all in all."

Today is your day and mine, the only day we have, the day in which we play our part. What our part may signify in the great whole, we may not understand, but we are here to play it, and now is our time. This we know, it is a part of action, not of whining. It is a part of love, not cynicism. It is for us to express love in terms of human helpfulness. This we know, for we have learned from sad experience that any other course of life leads toward decay and waste.

The Philosophy of Despair

The Bubbles of Sáki.

From Fitzgerald's exquisite version of the Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám, I take the following quatrains which may serve as a text for what I have to say:

So when the angel of the darker Drink At last shall find you by the river brink, And offering you his cup, invite your Soul Forth to your lips to quaff, you shall not shrink... Continue reading book >>

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