Evil in Modern Thought: An Alternative History of Philosophy

Evil in Modern Thought: An Alternative History of Philosophy

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by Susan Neiman
     
 

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ISBN-10: 0691117926

ISBN-13: 9780691117928

Pub. Date: 03/01/2004

Publisher: Princeton University Press

"This is a splendid book; it will be widely read and much discussed. Working from the assumption that philosophers ought to attend to 'the questions that brought us here,' Susan Neiman has given us a brilliant reading of those who have done just that. Her history of philosophy is also a philosophical argument: that evil is the central question driving the best

Overview

"This is a splendid book; it will be widely read and much discussed. Working from the assumption that philosophers ought to attend to 'the questions that brought us here,' Susan Neiman has given us a brilliant reading of those who have done just that. Her history of philosophy is also a philosophical argument: that evil is the central question driving the best modern philosophy, and that it is not only a moral question but a metaphysical one. The book is written with grace and wit; again and again, Neiman writes the kind of sentences we dream of uttering in the perfect conversation: where every mot is bon. This is exemplary philosophy."—Michael Walzer

"A brilliant study of changes in our understanding of evil from the book of Job through the 1755 Lisbon earthquake and on to the Holocaust and September 11. Neiman makes a powerful case for taking that problem as central to the history of modern philosophy, and her analysis of our present resources for coping with evil are provocative as well as profound. It's an immensely illuminating book."—J. B. Schneewind

"In tracing the responses to the problem of evil from the Enlightenment, when the question was why the Lisbon earthquake and the engags were Voltaire, Leibniz, Pope, and Rousseau, to the present, when it is why Auschwitz and they are Amry, Arendt, Camus, and Adorno, Neiman has made an original and powerful contribution to the analysis of an intractable moral issue: how to live with the fact that neither God nor nature seems concerned with our fate. Succinctly, steadily, and relentlessly written, the history of philosophy as philosophy could hardly be better done."—Clifford Geertz

"Even—or especially—to a nonphilosopher like myself, Susan Neiman's Evil in Modern Thought offers intellectual adventure of a high order. The audacity of her recasting of Western philosophy is matched by its profundity—and frequent wit. Its challenges are as bracing as they are essential. Her intellectual fearlessness deserves the closest and widest attention."—Todd Gitlin

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780691117928
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Publication date:
03/01/2004
Series:
Princeton Classics Series
Edition description:
With a New preface by the author
Pages:
376
Sales rank:
424,558
Product dimensions:
6.08(w) x 9.24(h) x 0.90(d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsxi
Introduction1
Chapter 1Fire from Heaven14
God's Advocates: Leibniz and Pope18
Newton of the Mind: Jean-Jacques Rousseau36
Divided Wisdom: Immanuel Kant57
Real and Rational: Hegel and Marx84
In Conclusion109
Chapter 2Condemning the Architect113
Raw Material: Bayle's Dictionary116
Voltaire's Destinies128
The Impotence of Reason: David Hume148
End of the Tunnel: The Marquis de Sade170
Schopenhauer: The World as Tribunal196
Chapter 3Ends of an Illusion203
Eternal Choices: Nietzsche on Redemption206
On Consolation: Freud vs. Providence227
Chapter 4Homeless238
Earthquakes: Why Lisbon?240
Mass Murders: Why Auschwitz?250
Losses: Ending Modern Theodicies258
Intentions: Meaning and Malice267
Terror: After September 11281
Remains: Camus, Arendt, Critical Theory, Rawls288
Origins: Sufficient Reason314
Notes329
Bibliography337
Index345

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Evil in Modern Thought - An Alternative History of Philosophy 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Burningtree More than 1 year ago
This is a book of remarkable scope and style. As an assessment of the essential problems of philosophy (in this case, the singular problem of evil), it qualifies as a modern classic. After a first reading, one is struck with the breadth and precision of her vision of the history of the Western mind. Subsequent reading and review only further impress. Sometimes I like to open a random page, and meditate upon a passage or a single sentence-gem. Few books can offer us such an experience. Among modern philosophers, her prose stands alone in its clarity and elegance. After reading this book, one has a panoramic view of Western thought that few other books can offer.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
earlhaydy More than 1 year ago
Me and my daughter had interested reading in the matter. She thinks it is quite good and she doesn't usually do that to other books she read and she's only a junior high school student.