top_2_1.jpg top_2_2.jpg
The Weight of Finitude
On the Philosophical Question of God
The Weight of Finitude
Click on image to enlarge

Ludwig Heyde - Author
Alexander Harmsen - Translator
William Desmond - Translator
SUNY Series in Hegelian Studies
Price: $95.00 
Hardcover - 177 pages
Release Date: August 1999
ISBN10: 0-7914-4265-9
ISBN13: 978-0-7914-4265-4

Price: $31.95 
Paperback - 177 pages
Release Date: August 1999
ISBN10: 0-7914-4266-7
ISBN13: 978-0-7914-4266-1

Available as a Google eBook
for other eReaders and tablet devices.
Click icon below...


Suggests that a full acceptance of the finitude of existence can lead to the affirmation of God.

Ludwig Heyde's award winning examination of the weight of finitude and its relation to God is translated here for the first time in English. Though philosophers may question if there still is room for God in philosophy after Nietzsche's pronouncement that "God is dead," Heyde suggests that a full acceptance of the finitude of existence can lead to the affirmation of God. He criticizes conceptions that have unconsciously dominated our thinking since the Enlightenment. In relation to the philosophical tradition--Thomas Aquinas, Anselm, Descartes, Kant, and primarily Hegel, among others--certain "experiences" are developed which thought can undergo when it goes to its limits and asks after the ground of all that is. At the same time, Heyde investigates how well the affirmation of God stands up against various intellectual and existential challenges such as Kant's critique, the experience of evil and suffering, and the thought of Heidegger and Nietzsche.

"It is a boon to have this work now available in English, and not only for Hegel scholars or philosophers interested in classical and contemporary responses to God, but for mindful human beings still wondering if we have wings." -- from the Foreword by William Desmond

Ludwig Heyde is Professor of Philosophy and Head of the Chair of Metaphysics at the Catholic University of Nijmegen, The Netherlands. He is the recipient of the 1997 Prix Cardinal Mercier for The Weight of Finitude and the author and editor of numerous books, including De verwerkelijking van de vrijheid and Filosofie en democratie. At the Higher Institute of Philosophy, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (Louvain), Belgium, Alexander Harmsen is a doctoral candidate and William Desmond is Director. Harmsen is a sessional lecturer at the University of British Columbia. Desmond is the author of several books published by SUNY Press, including the award winning Being and the Between.

Bookmark and Share

Table of Contents

By William Desmond



The Absence of the Essential

1.1 An Essenceless World

The Reversal of Positions
The Dominion of Wealth
Comedy and Cynicism

1.2 The Protest of Faith

Faith as Flight
The Essencelessness of Faith

1.3 The "Retrieval" of the Essential. The Struggle of the Enlightenment

God's Disappearance
The Unsatisfied Enlightenment

1.4 A One-Dimensional World and a Distant God

Ways of Thinking toward God

2.1 Faith and Thought

The Experience of Thought

2.2 Enigmatic Contingency

Why Something at All . . . ?
An Informational Intermezzo: Concerning Proofs of God
An Example: Thomas Aquinas
A Necessary Ground for All That Is
The Decisive Presupposition

2.3 The Actuality of Thought

Anselm. Thought and Being
Descartes. Subjectivity and Infinitude
God as Ground and Measure

2.4 The Experience of Limits and Openness

An Abyss for Thought

3.1 The Limits of Thought

The Decisive Point: Thought and Being
The Well-Ordered Cosmos

3.2 The Scope of the Critique

It Concerns the Entirety of Philosophy
The Ideal of Pure Reason
The Positive Turn

3.3 Kant's Way: The Absoluteness of the Ought

The Indisputable Moral "Fact"
The Postulate of God's Existence

3.4 The Limits of the Limits

Critique of the Critique
The Metaphysical Élan

Auschwitz: The End of an Illusion?

4.1 The Mystery of Evil

Beyond Any Concept?
The Sting of Moral Evil

4.2 The Mystery of Freedom

The Refusal of Adorno
Kant: Evil and Freedom

4.3 The Rose and the Cross

God and Evil
Evil Is Not Absolute

Human Finitude and the Presence of God

5.1 Finitude as Boundary

Heidegger: The Desacralisation of the World
The Metaphysics of Subjectivity
Thinking Does Not Merely "Happen" to Us

5.2 The Mystery of God's Presence

The Death of God
Nietzsche as Child of His Time
Hegel: The Absolute Is Present
Finite Transcendence?
Philosophy's Claim to Truth


Cited Literature

About the Author


Related Subjects

Related Titles

Between Reason and History
Between Reason and History
Hartshorne, Process Philosophy, and Theology
Hartshorne, Process Philosophy, and Theology
Antigone, in Her Unbearable Splendor
Antigone, in Her Unbearable Splendor
Poetics, Speculation, and Judgment
Poetics, Speculation, and Judgment
Predicting the Future
Predicting the Future
A Practical Philosophy for the Life Sciences
A Practical Philosophy for the Life Sciences
Finitude and Transcendence in the Platonic Dialogues
Finitude and Transcendence in the Platonic Dialogues
Understanding Gregory Bateson
Understanding Gregory Bateson
What is Knowledge?
What is Knowledge?