Gabriel Marcel (1889–1974) as a Phenomenologist

  • Herbert Spiegelberg
Part of the Phaenomenologica book series (PHAE, volume 5/6)


In his pioneering survey of Phenomenology in France Jean Hering concluded his two-page discussion of Gabriel Marcel as “an independent phenomenologist” with the following statement: “We believe we may affirm that, even if German phenomenology (to suppose the impossible) had remained unknown in France, nevertheless a phenomenology would have been constituted there; and this, to a large extent, would be due to the influence of Gabriel Marcel.” Hering, an old-style phenomenologist and anything but an existentialist, supported this remarkable estimate by referring to Marcel’s “concern for research” and for exploring the “essence” of things without separating them from the consciousness that presents them to us; to his sense of the “inanity” of Weltanschauungsphilosophie; and to his concrete studies of such phenomena as “having,” which keep free from the “mania” of reducing the phenomena to “nothing but” something else.


Phenomenological Analysis Scientific Philosophy Concrete Approach Ground Issue Philosophical Book 
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Selective Bibliography

Major Works

  1. Journal métaphysique (1927; written in 1914 and 1915–1923) (JM). Translation: English (1952) by Bernard Wall — good.Google Scholar
  2. La Métaphysique de Royce (1943; written 1917–18). Translation: English (1956) by V. and R. Ringer; with special preface by Marcel.Google Scholar
  3. Être et avoir (1935) (E.A.). Translation: English (1951) by K. Farrer — good, some errors.Google Scholar
  4. Du Refus à l’invocation (1940) (B.I.). Translation by R. Rosthal (1964) as Creative Fidelity.Google Scholar
  5. Homo viator, Prolégomènes à une métaphysique de l’espérance (1945) (H.V.) Translation: English (1951) by Emma Craufurd — readable, at times unnecessarily free.Google Scholar
  6. Positions et approches du mystère ontologique (1949); first published in 1933 as an appendix to Le monde cassé. (PA). Translation: English (1949) by M. Harari in The Philosophy of Existence — not always accurate.Google Scholar
  7. Le Mystère de l’être (1951) Gifford lectures. 2 vols. (ME). Translation: English (1950) by G. S. Fraser; there are considerable differences between the English version and the French, which appeared a year later. The translation is apparently quite free.Google Scholar
  8. Les Hommes contre l’humain (1951). Translation: English (1952) by G. S. Fraser.Google Scholar
  9. L’Homme problématique (1955).Google Scholar
  10. Présence et immortalité (1959).Google Scholar
  11. Fragments philosophiques (1909–1914) (1961).Google Scholar
  12. La Dignité humaine (1964). Translated as The Existential Background of Human Dignity (Wm. James lectures) (1963).Google Scholar
  13. Pour une sagesse tragique et son au-delà (1968). Translated by Stephen John and Peter McCormick (1973).Google Scholar


  1. GALLAGHER, KENNETH T., The Philosophy of Gabriel Marcel (1962).Google Scholar
  2. GILSON, ÉTIENNE, ed., Existentialisme chrétien: Gabriel Marcel (1947). Contains four analytical essays, followed by an autobiographical essay, translated in The Philosophy of Existence.Google Scholar
  3. PRINI, PIETRO, Gabriel Marcel e la Metodologia dell’ Inverificabile. With interesting preface by Marcel; translated into French.Google Scholar
  4. RICOEUR, PAUL, Gabriel Marcel et Karl Jaspers (1947).Google Scholar
  5. RICOEUR, P. et MARCEL, G., Entretiens (1968).Google Scholar
  6. SOTTIAUX, EDGARD, Gabriel Marcel, philosophe et dramaturge (1956).Google Scholar
  7. Troisfontaines, Roger. S. J., De l’Existence à l’être. La philosophie de Gabriel Marcel. 2 vols. (1952). With preface by Marcel.Google Scholar

Articles in English

  1. HOCKING, W. E., “Marcel and the Ground Issues of Metaphysics,” PPR XIV, 439–69.Google Scholar
  2. JARRETT-KERR, M., “Gabriel Marcel on Faith and Unbelief,” Hibbert Journal XLV (1947), 321–26.Google Scholar
  3. OSTERMANN, ROBERT, “G. Marcel (I) The Discovery of Being (II) The Recovery of Being, (III) Existence and the Idea of Being,” The Modern Schoolman XXXI (1953), 99–116, 289–305, XXXII (1954), 19–33.Google Scholar

Most Complete Recent Bibliographies

  1. For Marcel’s own writings, see Troisfontaines, II, 381–425; supplement in the second edition (1968) pp. 425–499.Google Scholar
  2. WENNING, GERALD, Works by and about G. M., Southern Journal of Philosophy 4 (1966), 82–96.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. LAPOINTE, FRANÇOIS AND CLAIRE, C. Gabriel Marcel and His Critics: An International Bibliography. New York: Garland, 1977.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Herbert Spiegelberg

There are no affiliations available

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