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This book contains twelve engaging philosophical lectures, most of them given during Romania’s Communist regime. They were written by Alexandru Dragomir, a former student of Heidegger who never published anything in his lifetime. The lectures deal with a diverse range of topics, such as the function of the question, self-deception in the past, the present, and the future, and banalities with a metaphysical dimension. The book includes a phenomenological discussion of the topic of nation and examines what happens when the human race loses its sense of measure. It also addresses the true role of the intellect in contrast with the dominance of scientific abstraction in today’s technical world. Among the thinkers discussed are Anaxagoras, Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Descartes, and Nietzsche.
Alexandru Dragomir was born in 1916 in Romania. After studying law and philosophy at the University of Bucharest (1933–1939), he left Romania to study for a doctorate in philosophy in Freiburg, Germany, under Martin Heidegger. He stayed in Freiburg for two years (1941–1943), but before defending his dissertation he was called back to Romania for military service and sent to the front. After 1948, historical circumstances forced him to become a clandestine philosopher: he was known only within a very limited circle, and even his friends did not know whether or not he was giving concrete expression to his philosophical preoccupations in a written work. He died in 2002 without ever publishing anything. It was only after his death that the “Dragomir notebooks” came to light.