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Jeanne Hersch’s realist existentialism is an original point of arrival in the panorama of
contemporary Existentialism. The Ginevean brings together Kant, Bergson, Jaspers and she
promotes a practical philosophy that preserves the existential dialectics between reason and
existence through freedom, adding the centrality of reality to it. The aim of this paper is to
introduce the heterogeneous Herschian path and to point out some relevant aspects of the
way in which nature and freedom interact in the different phases of her philosophy.
Hersch searches for the human ground moving from a real freedom and, after having elaborated
an inner freedom, a political liberty and a responsible freedom, she finally enlightens the
connection between the existential point of view and the world. In this sense, it is possible to
define Jeanne Hersch as the gesture of existentialism, since she re-elaborates the theoretical
existentialist tradition and applies this re-elaboration to the problems of her time, giving a practical
model of existential authenticity.
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