THE SHIPWRECKED MIND

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The Shipwrecked Mind

Author : Mark Lilla
ISBN : 9781590179031
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 66.74 MB
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We don’t understand the reactionary mind. As a result, argues Mark Lilla in this timely book, the ideas and passions that shape today’s political dramas are unintelligible to us. The reactionary is anything but a conservative. He is as radical and modern a figure as the revolutionary, someone shipwrecked in the rapidly changing present, and suffering from nostalgia for an idealized past and an apocalyptic fear that history is rushing toward catastrophe. And like the revolutionary his political engagements are motivated by highly developed ideas. Lilla begins with three twentieth-century philosophers—Franz Rosenzweig, Eric Voegelin, and Leo Strauss—who attributed the problems of modern society to a break in the history of ideas and promoted a return to earlier modes of thought. He then examines the enduring power of grand historical narratives of betrayal to shape political outlooks since the French Revolution, and shows how these narratives are employed in the writings of Europe’s right-wing cultural pessimists and Maoist neocommunists, American theoconservatives fantasizing about the harmony of medieval Catholic society and radical Islamists seeking to restore a vanished Muslim caliphate. The revolutionary spirit that inspired political movements across the world for two centuries may have died out. But the spirit of reaction that rose to meet it has survived and is proving just as formidable a historical force. We live in an age when the tragicomic nostalgia of Don Quixote for a lost golden age has been transformed into a potent and sometimes deadly weapon. Mark Lilla helps us to understand why.
Category: Political Science

Comprehending And Confronting Antisemitism

Author : Armin Lange
ISBN : 9783110618594
Genre : History
File Size : 81.35 MB
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This volume provides a compendium of the history of and discourse about antisemitism - both as a unique cultural and religious category. Antisemitic stereotypes function as religious symbols that express and transmit a belief system of Jew-hatred, which are stored in the cultural and religious memories of the Western and Muslim worlds, migrating freely between Christian, Muslim and other religious symbolic systems.
Category: History

American Labyrinth

Author : Raymond Haberski, Jr.
ISBN : 9781501730238
Genre : History
File Size : 42.87 MB
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Intellectual history has never been more relevant and more important to public life in the United States. In complicated and confounding times, people look for the principles that drive action and the foundations that support national ideals. American Labyrinth demonstrates the power of intellectual history to illuminate our public life and examine our ideological assumptions. This volume of essays brings together 19 influential intellectual historians to contribute original thoughts on topics of widespread interest. Raymond Haberski Jr. and Andrew Hartman asked a group of nimble, sharp scholars to respond to a simple question: How might the resources of intellectual history help shed light on contemporary issues with historical resonance? The answers—all rigorous, original, and challenging—are as eclectic in approach and temperament as the authors are different in their interests and methods. Taken together, the essays of American Labyrinth illustrate how intellectual historians, operating in many different registers at once and ranging from the theoretical to the political, can provide telling insights for understanding a public sphere fraught with conflict. In order to understand why people are ready to fight over cultural symbols and political positions we must have insight into how ideas organize, enliven, and define our lives. Ultimately, as Haberski and Hartman show in this volume, the best route through our contemporary American labyrinth is the path that traces our practical and lived ideas.
Category: History

Enlightenment Now

Author : Steven Pinker
ISBN : 9780141979106
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 31.26 MB
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'My new favourite book of all time' Bill Gates TOP TEN SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER Is modernity really failing? Or have we failed to appreciate progress and the ideals that make it possible? If you follow the headlines, the world in the 21st century appears to be sinking into chaos, hatred, and irrationality. Yet Steven Pinker shows that this is an illusion - a symptom of historical amnesia and statistical fallacies. If you follow the trendlines rather than the headlines, you discover that our lives have become longer, healthier, safer, happier, more peaceful, more stimulating and more prosperous - not just in the West, but worldwide. Such progress is no accident: it's the gift of a coherent and inspiring value system that many of us embrace without even realizing it. These are the values of the Enlightenment: of reason, science, humanism and progress. The challenges we face today are formidable, including inequality, climate change, Artificial Intelligence and nuclear weapons. But the way to deal with them is not to sink into despair or try to lurch back to a mythical idyllic past; it's to treat them as problems we can solve, as we have solved other problems in the past. In making the case for an Enlightenment newly recharged for the 21st century, Pinker shows how we can use our faculties of reason and sympathy to solve the problems that inevitably come with being products of evolution in an indifferent universe. We will never have a perfect world, but - defying the chorus of fatalism and reaction - we can continue to make it a better one.
Category: Philosophy