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The first item on the Better World Books 2016 Reading Challenge is […]
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"This is a splendid book; it will be widely read and much discussed. Working from the assumption that philosophers ought to attend to 'the questions that brought us here, ' Susan Neiman has given us a brilliant reading of those who have done just that. Her history of philosophy is also a philosophical argument: that evil is the central question driving the best modern philosophy, and that it is not only a moral question but a metaphysical one. The book is written with grace and wit; again and again, Neiman writes the kind of sentences we dream of uttering in the perfect conversation: where every mot is bon. This is exemplary philosophy."--Michael Walzer
"A brilliant study of changes in our understanding of evil from the book of Job through the 1755 Lisbon earthquake and on to the Holocaust and September 11. Neiman makes a powerful case for taking that problem as central to the history of modern philosophy, and her analysis of our present resources for coping with evil are provocative as well as profound. It's an immensely illuminating book."--J. B. Schneewind
"In tracing the responses to the problem of evil from the Enlightenment, when the question was why the Lisbon earthquake and the engages were Voltaire, Leibniz, Pope, and Rousseau, to the present, when it is why Auschwitz and they are Amery, Arendt, Camus, and Adorno, Neiman has made an original and powerful contribution to the analysis of an intractable moral issue: how to live with the fact that neither God nor nature seems concerned with our fate. Succinctly, steadily, and relentlessly written, the history of philosophy as philosophy could hardly be better done."--Clifford Geertz
"Even--or especially--to a nonphilosopher like myself, Susan Neiman's "Evil in Modern Thought" offers intellectual adventure of a high order. The audacity of her recasting of Western philosophy is matched by its profundity--and frequent wit. Its challenges are as bracing as they are essential. Her intellectual fearlessness deserves the closest and widest attention."--Todd Gitlin
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