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《现代思想中的邪恶》

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邪恶威胁着人类的理性,因为它挑战了我们希望世界有意义的希望。对于18世纪的欧洲人来说,里斯本地震显然是邪恶的。今天,我们认为邪恶是人类的残酷问题,奥斯威辛…

9780691168500_20150419_141946
另类哲学史

邪恶威胁着人类的理性,因为它挑战了我们希望世界有意义的希望。对于18世纪的欧洲人来说,里斯本地震显然是邪恶的。今天,我们认为邪恶是人类的残酷问题,奥斯威辛集中营是其极端的化身。 Susan Neiman考察了我们从宗教裁判所到当代恐怖主义对邪恶的理解,探索了在三个世纪中使我们与早期启蒙运动分开的我们是谁。在此过程中,她重写了现代思想的历史,并将哲学指向了最初激发它的问题。

不论以神学还是世俗的方式表达,邪恶都会对世界的可理解性构成问题。它面临着哲学上的基本问题:在一个无辜者遭受苦难的世界中是否会有意义?对神的能力或人类进步的信念能否幸免于恶?邪恶是深奥的还是平庸的?内曼认为,这些问题推动了现代哲学的发展。从莱布尼兹(Leibniz)到黑格尔(Hegel)的传统哲学家都试图捍卫一个创造世界的邪恶世界。不可避免地,他们的努力与教皇,伏尔泰和萨德侯爵等更多文学家的努力一起,削弱了人们对上帝的仁慈,能力和相关性的信念,直到尼采声称他被谋杀为止。它们还产生了我们现在认为理所当然的自然与道德邪恶之间的区别。内曼转向将哲学对大屠杀的反应视为一种最终的道德罪恶,认为在现代思想中存在两种基本立场。从卢梭到阿伦特,其中一位坚持道德要求我们使邪恶变得可理解。另一位,从伏尔泰到阿多诺,则坚持认为道德要求我们不这样做。

这本书写得精美,引人入胜,讲述了现代哲学的历史,试图以邪恶来解决。它向对生与死,善与恶,痛苦与感官问题感兴趣的任何人重新引入哲学。这本普林斯顿经典丛书收录了内曼撰写的大量新后记,引发了有关汉娜·阿伦特(Hannah Arendt)对阿道夫·艾希曼(Adolf Eichmann)的看法以及广岛轰炸背后的理论依据的挑衅性问题,向新一代读者介绍了这种雄辩而深刻的关于善与恶,人生的沉思冥想与死亡,痛苦与感官。

Evil threatens human reason, for it challenges our hope that the world makes sense. For eighteenth-century Europeans, the Lisbon earthquake was manifest evil. 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. 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 human 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 more literary figures like Pope, Voltaire, and the Marquis de Sade–eroded belief in God’s benevolence, power, and relevance, until Nietzsche claimed He had 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. Featuring a substantial new afterword by Neiman that raises provocative questions about Hannah Arendt’s take on Adolf Eichmann and the rationale behind the Hiroshima bombing, this Princeton Classics edition introduces a new generation of readers to this eloquent and thought-provoking meditation on good and evil, life and death, and suffering and sense.

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