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In the blink of an eye: an investigation into the concept of the 'decisive moment' (Augenblick) as found in nineteenth and twentieth century western philosophy

Ward, Koral (2005) In the blink of an eye: an investigation into the concept of the 'decisive moment' (Augenblick) as found in nineteenth and twentieth century western philosophy. PhD thesis, Murdoch University.

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      Abstract

      'In the blink of an eye' is a figurative expression which, in its most basic interpretation describes the experience of a fleeting but momentous event. It comes, however, to represent an encounter with the 'eternal'. That it can contain these antithetical elements points to the abidingly paradoxical nature of the Augenblick. In this thesis we follow the development of the concept from its roots in the theology of Soren Kierkgaard and the myth of Friedrich Nietzsche, to its existential eludidation nearly a century later in the work of Karl Jaspers and Martin Heidegger. In the final two chapters of this thesis, the Augenblick is viewed as an inherited conceptual tool for metaphysical thought. We apply it to the consideration of an historical epoch of great social change and to certain works of art which express its zeitgeist. This well-used metaphor is a living idea, it continues to gather meaning to itself.

      Publication Type: Thesis (PhD)
      Murdoch Affiliation: School of Social Sciences and Humanities
      Supervisor: McDonald, Paul
      URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/391
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