Evil in Modern Thought: An Alternative History of Philosophy

Evil in Modern Thought An Alternative History of Philosophy Evil threatens reason It challenges our hope that things make sense For th century Europeans the Lisbon earthquake was manifest evil Now we view evil as a matter of human cruelty Auschwitz as its

  • Title: Evil in Modern Thought: An Alternative History of Philosophy
  • Author: Susan Neiman
  • ISBN: 9780691117928
  • Page: 128
  • Format: Paperback
  • Evil in Modern Thought: An Alternative History of Philosophy

    Evil threatens reason It challenges our hope that things make sense For 18th century Europeans, the Lisbon earthquake was manifest evil Now we view evil as a matter of human cruelty, Auschwitz as its extreme incarnation.Examining our understanding of evil from the Inquisition to contemporary terrorism, Neiman explores who we ve become in the three centuries since the eaEvil threatens reason It challenges our hope that things make sense For 18th century Europeans, the Lisbon earthquake was manifest evil Now we view evil as a matter of human cruelty, Auschwitz as its extreme incarnation.Examining our understanding of evil from the Inquisition to contemporary terrorism, Neiman explores who we ve become in the three centuries since the early Enlightenment In the process, she rewrites the history of modern thought and points philosophy back to the questions that originally animated it Whether expressed in theological or secular terms, evil poses a problem about the world s intelligibility It confronts philosophy with fundamental questions Can there be meaning in a world where innocents suffer Can belief in divine power or progress survive a cataloging of evil Is evil profound or banal Neiman argues that these questions impelled modern philosophy Traditional philosophers from Leibniz to Hegel sought to defend the Creator of a world containing evil Inevitably, their efforts combined with those of literary figures like Pope, Voltaire and the Marquis de Sade eroded belief in God s benevolence, power relevance, until Nietzsche claimed He d been murdered They also yielded the distinction between natural and moral evil that we now take for granted Neiman turns to consider philosophy s response to the Holocaust as a final moral evil, concluding that two basic stances run through modern thought One, from Rousseau to Arendt, insists that morality demands we make evil intelligible The other, from Voltaire to Adorno, insists that morality demands that we don t.Beautifully written and thoroughly engaging, this book tells the history of modern philosophy as an attempt to come to terms with evil It reintroduces philosophy to anyone interested in questions of life and death, good and evil, suffering and sense.

    Neiman, S Evil in Modern Thought An Alternative History Neiman turns to consider philosophy s response to the Holocaust as a final moral evil, concluding that two basic stances run through modern thought One, from Rousseau to Arendt, insists that morality demands we make evil intelligible. Evil in Modern Thought An Alternative History of Today we view evil as a matter of human cruelty, and Auschwitz as its extreme incarnation Examining our understanding of evil from the Inquisition to contemporary terrorism, Susan Neiman explores who we have become in the three centuries that separate us from the early Enlightenment. The Concept of Evil Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy A second argument in favour of the concept of evil is that it is only by facing evil, i.e by becoming clear about its nature and origins, that we can hope to prevent future evils from occurring and live good lives Kekes , Card . Evil in Modern Thought An Alternative History of Neiman s Evil in Modern Thought offers a compelling reexamination of the rise of modern philosophy, arguing that traditional historical accounts that focus on the epistemological turn do not explain the material that they narrate. The Most Evil Deck in Modern Modern MTG Deck Broadcast and play with locals Broadcasting is a way to meet up and play with people in your area Location services must be turned on for this site on your browser a prompt should appear. Evil Ancient and Modern spectrummagazine It is Susan Neiman s thesis in Evil in Modern Thought, that the problem of evil is the guiding force of modern thought Neiman In fact, she asserts that the problem of evil is the heart of philosophy, especially from the early modern period until the Holocaust. Examples of Everyday Evil Townhall For the average person, on a typical day, the evil that comes into his life isn t from some modern day Snidely Whiplash it s from other ordinary people his co workers and random folks he passes Evil Evil, in a general sense, is the opposite or absence of good It can be an extremely broad concept, though in everyday usage is often used narrowly to denote profound wickedness. The Social Influence of Good vs Evil HuffPost Mar , In our modern, civilized world, we would rank this act as evil under almost any terms, but it s important to remember this didn t take place here It took place in the less civilized, less modern world of war, and it took place under conditions most would never dare to imagine much less experience. Good and evil Pyrrhonism holds that good and evil do not exist by nature, meaning that good and evil do not exist within the things themselves All judgments of good and evil are relative to the one doing the judging Spinoza Benedict de Spinoza states By good, I understand that which we certainly know is useful to us .

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    One thought on “Evil in Modern Thought: An Alternative History of Philosophy

    1. Aaron

      The flaws of this book appear in reverse, with the errors of the ending chapter making me question the arguments of the start. At the center of Neiman’s argument is the metaphors related to the Lisbon earthquake of 1775 and Auschwitz; both are used as singular events that altered the basic way philosophy can talk about moral and natural evils. Particularly, the author focuses on the changing relationship between contingency and moral action, and how those two events changed the way people appr [...]

    2. Erik Graff

      Before going ahead to criticize, I want to make it clear that this is an important, well-written book, accessible to ordinary readers. As Neiman points out in her preface, she entered the study of philosophy to grapple with the big questions of the meaning of life or, as Kant put it: What can I know? What must I do? What may I believe? She found that modern philosophy as taught in the States is mostly epistemology and the analysis of propositions, was increasingly frustrated, and resolved to bri [...]

    3. Lisa Louie

      No summary or reflection I write will do this book the justice it deserves. When I picked up this book, I hoped to delve into multiple frameworks in which “evil” is defined and, if I was lucky, to read further into theodicy, the classical problem of evil in the philosophy of religion. I was not disappointed. Neiman makes the case that, on some level, the whole of philosophy has been an attempt to explain why there is evil at all. She patiently surveys the history of philosophy, organizing sc [...]

    4. Ken

      Hoo-boy. Some summer read. At times my eyes glazed, but but! Though I've learned the hard way that I'm no philosopher (it's way too logic-driven, for one, and I'm not), I seem endlessly fascinated with philosophy because, quite simply, I like to mull a lot. Kind of like cider.Yes, this is all about philosopher/knights grappling none-too-successfully with the greatest dragon of them all, evil, but I almost felt like evil took a back seat to the big white dragon in the room. Yep. God. All discussi [...]

    5. James

      Brilliant, although this is a dense book, in the sense of requiring slow and careful reading, from me at least. I often had to stop, reread a sentence or paragraph, and sit for a few minutes thinking about its message - it also caused me to look up more words than any book I've read in decades, possibly because I'm not well-read at all in philosophy beyond one freshman philosophy course in a junior college over 30 years ago.Neiman presents perspectives on evil from one philosopher after, and in [...]

    6. David Gross

      This book is something like a conversation between philosophers taking place over three hundred years on the topic of evil. I've started to visualize this conversation, as Neiman reports it, as though it were a Facebook-like discussion, here: sniggle/Experiment/index5.

    7. J

      Neiman’s Evil in Modern Thought offers a compelling reexamination of the rise of modern philosophy, arguing that traditional historical accounts that focus on the epistemological turn do not explain the material that they narrate. It is true but uninteresting, Neiman thinks, to describe the changing content of philosophical systems, because such expository accounts “lack a compelling motive.” The engine behind the turmoil in early modern to modern periods, Neiman thinks, is the problem of [...]

    8. David

      I admit from the outset that I cannot possibly do this book justice in a review. I can at best offer a stream of consciousness review of its brilliance in weaving together centuries of philosophical thought and the evolution of the question of evil. This book explores centuries of philosophical thought, starting with Bayle and Liebniz, and going through Rousseau, Pope, Kant, Goethe, Nietzsche, Hegel, Marx, Foucault, Voltaire, Descartes, Hume, De Sade, Schopenhauer, Arendt, Adorno, Horkheimer, Ca [...]

    9. Maurizio Manco

      "Le anime possono uscire rafforzate da un male che le riconosce. Il male che cerca di negare alle proprie vittime le condizioni necessarie ad avere un'anima, non può in alcun modo riconoscerle. Non possiamo essere che grati a quei pochi che hanno trovato la forza per resistere a un simile attacco alla loro umanità. Non possiamo aspettarci da loro niente più che il mistero della libertà umana." (p. 253)"Nel male contemporaneo le intenzioni individuali raramente corrispondono alla portata del [...]

    10. Liedzeit

      An alternative history of philosophy it says on the cover. And it is. Very nicely done. Not enough, I think, on Leibniz who has said everything that needs to be said on theodicy. But I might be biased.

    11. Jack Wolfe

      Neiman's history is "Alternative" because unlike what seems to be the vast majority of contemporary and 20th century philosophers (if my stint running philosophy books at Half-Price Books is any indication), she is interested in things that actually matter, like the classic question of how unspeakable atrocity can occur in a seemingly reasonable world. WHOOPS. I mis-spoke, as a central tenet of Neiman's book is how even philosophers who seemed unconcerned with the "problem of evil" have been for [...]

    12. Dane

      I'm not really very kind to history of philosophy books. While I enjoy a good history, philosophy for me is more a discussion of ideas and I'm not really interested in out-dated or factually wrong ideas.Suffice to say this book is mostly a history of the idea in Western European philosophy. I'm much more interested in reasonable ideas, and the idea that natural disasters are an act of god/punishment for evil just didn't fly well for me. The book moved quickly from that medieval idea to the Enlig [...]

    13. Eric

      A good read for philosophically-minded atheists interested in how philosophers since the Enlightenment have dealt with the "problem of evil" outside of a purely theological framework (though it should be stressed this is not an atheist book). Neiman is at least convincing that it is, and has been treated historically, as a serious subject for contemplation beyond a mere club to bash theists with. Even if theodicy is rejected as ultimately a failure, there still remains the secular concept of "Th [...]

    14. Andy Huber

      SarkasmSarkasmSarkasmSarkasmSarkasmSarkasmSarkasmSarkasmSarkasmSarkasmSarkasmSarkasmSarkasmSarkasmSarkasmSarkasmSarkasmSarkasmSarkasmSarkasmSarkasmSarkasmSarkasmThere is no Sarkasm :dShe is beautifull :*I was playing with the thought about to study philosophy, thani read the book, and all was fine :dI didnt go there LOLShe is perfekt, who she did in explaining and writing about what philophs do. And a bit of history and a bitthere It was not so easy to understand for me. Hard reading.Thanks for [...]

    15. Jesse Maurais

      Is there an underlying logic to the world or is it all random? The limitations of our logic are made painfully obvious in its occasional clashes with reality. It seems more like there's icebergs of reason that float freely in a greater chaotic ocean, occasionally making collisions with one another. Ice will melt under then heat of the sun but nor will the best reasons sustain under prolonged periods of doubt. And all for the best too; it's the icebergs that sink our vessels.

    16. Valenfore Alestreneon

      A rather good exploration and demystification of the "problem of evil" and why "evil" doesn't truly exist.

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