Reality and Man : An Essay in the Metaphysics of Human Nature by S.L. Frank ; Translated from the Russian by Natalie Duddington with a Foreword by Georges Florovsky
New York : Taplinger Publishing Co., 1966. First American Edition. Hardcover. 238 pages ; 22 cm. $6.00 dust jacket with minimal wear. Pages are clean and unmarked. Binding firm.
REALITY AND MAN
An Essay in the Metaphysics of Human Nature
by S. L. FRANK
translated from the Russian by Natalie Duddington
With an Introduction by Georges Florovsky
REALITY AND MAN, the product of forty years' philosophical reflection, attempts to give a reasoned account of man's position in the universe, which will do justice both to his rational faculties, and to the awareness that comes from his religious experience. It is a remarkable, indeed a great, book which shows why Frank has left a reputation of being one of the most profound thinkers and writers of the Russian emigration. There is a serenity and clarity about the writing which is not to be found in the more superficially striking work of a writer like Berdyaev. Again and again apparently opposing points of view are brought together and shown in a deeper sense to be complementary. It is fascinating, too, to watch how honestly Frank faces the destructive and chaotic element in human experience. Towards the end of the book there are pages of real beauty and wisdom, in which one is aware of the long and bitter experience of a man who had been twice exiled, once from Soviet Russia, once from Nazi Germany, and who had yet maintained his faith.
Frank himself refers us to Plotinus and Nicholas of Cusa as chief among those to whom he is indebted. In its determination to avoid anti-humanist tendencies, one can see the book as an authentic product of the East Christian tradition which gave birth to some of the great thinkers of the first Christian centuries. The approach to questions is remi-niscent of Von Hugel; the sweep of the vision, of de Chardin.
"The very heart of Frank's philosophy," writes the eminent philosopher Georges Florovsky in his Introduction to this book, "was the conviction that except in communion with The Living God, Man cannot be truly and fully human, cannot be himself. . . . Frank was desperately concerned with the problem of human existence, with the dignity and predicament of Man. The ultimate goal of his philosophical inquiry may be properly described as Justification of Man."
When it was published in England, The London Times Literary Supplement called REALITY AND MAN "A work of rare quality and of equally rare depth of vision. On every page it bears the stamp of mature reflection and of deep meditation concerning life and living, value and purpose, man and God. The whole moves forward . . . with skill, clarity and utter integrity."
S. L. FRANK Born in Moscow in 1877 of Jewish parents, S. L. Frank studied economics at Moscow University; he was for a short time an ardent Marxist, but then turned to philosophy and the Russian Orthodox Church, studying for a while with Berdyaev. Expelled from Russia in 1922, he lived and taught in Berlin until he left Germany for France in 1937. After the war he lived in London until his death in 1950. His other published works in English are GOD WITH US and ESSAYS.
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