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The Desolation of Reality

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William Brashear

In the temper of Pascal and Unamuano, this is an original study in perspective and what the author refers to as the «ultimate frame of reference» - the infinite backdrop to all that is and seems. In the context of this always receding periphery Brashear sets and appraises the human condition and views in this widest of perspectives two of the most prominent notions or fictions influencing the course and evolution of «civilized order», namely the «pursuit of freedom» and «the pursuit of happiness». Against the emptiness of the desolation to which this probing leads he recommends that the wise man wear mental bifocals, looking alternately at the near and at the far, and that he adopt a stance of «tragic humanism» in which man's absolute insignificance is acknowledged but not accepted.