Catalogue

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A world without why [electronic resource] /
Raymond Geuss.
imprint
Princeton ; London : Princeton University Press, [2014]
description
xvi, 264 pages ; 23 cm
ISBN
0691155887 (hardcover), 9780691155883 (hardcover)
format(s)
Book
More Details
uniform title
imprint
Princeton ; London : Princeton University Press, [2014]
isbn
0691155887 (hardcover)
9780691155883 (hardcover)
restrictions
Licensed for access by U. of T. users.
contents note
Goals, origins, disciplines -- Vix intellegitur -- Marxism and the ethos of the twentieth century -- Must criticism be constructive? -- The loss of meaning on the left -- Authority: some fables -- A note on lying -- Politics and architecture -- The future of theological ethics -- Did Williams do ethics? -- The wisdom of Oedipus and the idea of a moral cosmos -- Who was the first philosopher? -- A world without why.
catalogue key
9906218
 
Includes bibliographical references (pages 237-256) and index.
A Look Inside
Excerpts
Flap Copy
" A World without Why is a fascinating collection of essays by one of the most original, witty, profound, passionate, and erudite philosophers alive today."--Wendy Brown, author of Walled States, Waning Sovereignty "These essays are, as always with Geuss, engagingly written, challenging, and extremely interesting."--Daniel Brudney, author of Marx's Attempt to Leave Philosophy
Summaries
Main Description
Wishful thinking is a deeply ingrained human trait that has had a long-term distorting effect on ethical thinking. Many influential ethical views depend on the optimistic assumption that, despite appearances to the contrary, the human and natural world in which we live could, eventually, be made to make sense to us. In "A World without Why," Raymond Geuss challenges this assumption.The essays in this collection--several of which are published here for the first time--explore the genesis and historical development of this optimistic configuration in ethical thought and the ways in which it has shown itself to be unfounded and misguided. Discussions of Greco-Roman antiquity and of the philosophies of Socrates, Plato, Hegel, Marx, Nietzsche, and Adorno play a central role in many of these essays. Geuss also ranges over such topics as the concepts of intelligibility, authority, democracy, and criticism; the role of lying in politics; architecture; the place of theology in ethics; tragedy and comedy; and the struggle between realism and our search for meaning.Characterized by Geusss wide-ranging interests in literature, philosophy, and history, and by his political commitment and trenchant style, "A World without Why" raises fundamental questions about the viability not just of specific ethical concepts and theses, but of our most basic assumptions about what ethics could and must be.
Main Description
Wishful thinking is a deeply ingrained human trait that has had a long-term distorting effect on ethical thinking. Many influential ethical views depend on the optimistic assumption that, despite appearances to the contrary, the human and natural world in which we live could, eventually, be made to make sense to us. In A World without Why , Raymond Geuss challenges this assumption. The essays in this collection--several of which are published here for the first time--explore the genesis and historical development of this optimistic configuration in ethical thought and the ways in which it has shown itself to be unfounded and misguided. Discussions of Greco-Roman antiquity and of the philosophies of Socrates, Plato, Hegel, Marx, Nietzsche, and Adorno play a central role in many of these essays. Geuss also ranges over such topics as the concepts of intelligibility, authority, democracy, and criticism; the role of lying in politics; architecture; the place of theology in ethics; tragedy and comedy; and the struggle between realism and our search for meaning. Characterized by Geuss's wide-ranging interests in literature, philosophy, and history, and by his political commitment and trenchant style, A World without Why raises fundamental questions about the viability not just of specific ethical concepts and theses, but of our most basic assumptions about what ethics could and must be.

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