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.