Author Archives: Abigail

About Abigail

Abigail Rosenthal is Professor Emerita of Philosophy, Brooklyn College of CUNY. She is the author of A Good Look at Evil, a Pulitzer Prize nominee, now available in an expanded, revised second edition. Its thesis is that good people try to live out their stories while evil people aim to mess up good people’s stories. Her next book, Confessions of a Young Philosopher, forthcoming, provides multiple illustrations from her own life. She writes a weekly column for her blog, “Dear Abbie: The Non-Advice Column” (www.dearabbie-nonadvice.com) where she explains why women's lives are highly interesting. She’s the editor of the posthumously published Consolations of Philosophy: Hobbes’s Secret; Spinoza’s Way by her father, Henry M. Rosenthal. Her next book project will be Conversations with My Father, the "Genius" Among the Giants. Some of her articles can be accessed at https://brooklyn-cuny.academia.edu/AbigailMartin . She is married to Jerry L. Martin, also a philosopher. They live in Bucks County, Pennsylvania.

Jewish Time

Jewish Time  Lately, I’ve had a growing sense of living my life on something I call “Jewish Time.”  Have I anything concrete in view? In my childhood, when my parents were awaiting Israeli dinner guests, they expected them to be … Continue reading

Posted in "Absolute Freedom and Terror", Absurdism, Academe, Action, Afterlife, Alienation, Anthropology, Art of Living, Atheism, Autonomy, Bible, Biblical God, books, Cities, Class, conformism, Contemplation, Contradictions, Cool, Courage, Cultural Politics, Culture, Desire, dialectic, Erotic Life, Eternity, Ethics, Evil, Existentialism, Faith, Fashion, Freedom, Friendship, Gnosticism, Guilt and Innocence, Hegel, hegemony, hidden God, History, history of ideas, ID, Idealism, Ideality, Identity, Ideology, Idolatry, Institutional Power, Jews, Judaism, Legal Responsibility, life and death struggle, Literature, Love, Memoir, memory, Mind Control, Moral action, Moral evaluation, Moral psychology, novels, Ontology, Past and Future, Peace, Phenomenology of Mind, Philosophy, Poetry, Political, Political Movements, politics, politics of ideas, post modernism, Power, presence, promissory notes, Psychology, public facade, Public Intellectual, Race, radicalism, Reading, Reductionism, relationships, Religion, Roles, scientism, secular, self-deception, social construction, Social Conventions, social ranking, spiritual journey, spiritual not religious, Spirituality, status, Suffering, Terror, The Examined Life, The Problematic of Men, The Problematic of Woman, the profane, the sacred, Theism, Theology, Time, twentieth century, twenty-first century, Utopia, victims, Violence, War, Work, Writing, Zeitgeist | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Nibbles from the Tree of Knowledge

  Nibbles from the Tree of Knowledge On my night table for last read of the evening is a book with the title, Forbidden Knowledge.  It concerns a topic that I’d never considered as such: whether there are, or ought … Continue reading

Posted in Absurdism, Academe, Action, Afterlife, Art, Art of Living, Atheism, Bible, Biblical God, books, Christianity, conformism, Contemplation, Contradictions, Cultural Politics, Culture, Desire, dialectic, Erotic Life, Eternity, Ethics, Evil, Existentialism, exploitation, Faith, Femininity, Feminism, Freedom, Friendship, Gender Balance, glitterati, Gnosticism, Guilt and Innocence, Health, Hegel, hegemony, Heroes, hidden God, hierarchy, History, history of ideas, Idealism, Ideality, Identity, Ideology, Idolatry, Immorality, Immortality, Institutional Power, Jews, Judaism, Law, Legal Responsibility, life and death struggle, Literature, Martyrdom, Masculinity, memory, Modernism, Moral action, Moral evaluation, Moral psychology, morality, Mortality, nineteenth-century, Ontology, Oppression, Past and Future, Peace, Phenomenology of Mind, Philosophy, Poetry, politics of ideas, post modernism, Power, presence, Propaganda, Psychology, Public Intellectual, Reading, Reductionism, relationships, Religion, Renaissance, Roles, scientism, secular, Seduction, self-deception, Sexuality, social construction, Social Conventions, social ranking, spiritual journey, spiritual not religious, Spirituality, status of women, Suffering, The Examined Life, The Problematic of Men, The Problematic of Woman, the profane, the sacred, Theism, Theology, Time, twentieth century, twenty-first century, Utopia, victimhood, Work, Writing, Zeitgeist | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

“Evil is Really Not Banal”

“Evil is Really Not Banal” This past week we’ve been in California, where I’ve resumed my treatments for neuropathy at the Loma Linda hospital.  The other event of the week, salient for me, was a talk at the Claremont School … Continue reading

Posted in "Absolute Freedom and Terror", Absurdism, Academe, Action, Alienation, American Politics, Art of Living, Atheism, Autonomy, Biblical God, books, bureaucracy, Christianity, Cities, Class, conformism, Contemplation, Contradictions, Cool, Courage, cults, Cultural Politics, Culture, dialectic, Ethics, Evil, Existentialism, exploitation, Faith, Fashion, Femininity, Feminism, Freedom, Friendship, glitterati, Guilt and Innocence, Hegel, hegemony, Heroes, hidden God, History, history of ideas, Idealism, Ideality, Identity, Ideology, Idolatry, Immorality, Institutional Power, Jews, Journalism, Judaism, Law, Legal Responsibility, life and death struggle, Literature, Martyrdom, Memoir, memory, Mind Control, Modernism, Moral action, Moral evaluation, Moral psychology, morality, Mortality, Oppression, Past and Future, Peace, Philosophy, Political, Political Movements, politics, politics of ideas, post modernism, Power, presence, promissory notes, Propaganda, Psychology, public facade, Public Intellectual, Race, radicalism, Reading, Reductionism, relationships, Religion, Roles, secular, Seduction, self-deception, social construction, Social Conventions, social ranking, spiritual journey, spiritual not religious, Spirituality, status, status of women, Suffering, Terror, terrorism, The Examined Life, The Problematic of Men, The Problematic of Woman, the profane, the sacred, Theism, Theology, Time, twentieth century, twenty-first century, victimhood, victims, Violence, War, Work, Writing, Zeitgeist | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Book Matters

Book Matters Here is my roundup of a couple of books that I’ve been reading, or finishing, lately. You’ll see what you think. Why Religion? A Personal Story by Elaine Pagels. She’s the author of The Gnostic Gospels. That book … Continue reading

Posted in book reviews, books | Leave a comment

Wickedness and Suffering

Wickedness and Suffering Does that heading about cover it?  Eugene Ionesco, the brilliant Franco-Romanian playwright, wrote Tueur sans gages [Killer without wages], a play that opens with his characters marveling over the great neighborhood to which they feel fortunate to … Continue reading

Posted in "Absolute Freedom and Terror", Absurdism, Academe, Action, Afterlife, Alienation, American Politics, Anthropology, Art, Art of Living, Atheism, Autonomy, beauty, Biblical God, book reviews, books, bureaucracy, Christianity, Cities, Class, conformism, Contemplation, Contradictions, Cool, Courage, Cultural Politics, Culture, Desire, dialectic, Erotic Life, Ethics, Evil, Existentialism, exploitation, Faith, Fashion, Freedom, Friendship, Gender Balance, glitterati, Gnosticism, Guilt and Innocence, Health, hegemony, Heroes, hidden God, hierarchy, History, history of ideas, Idealism, Ideality, Identity, Ideology, Idolatry, Immorality, Institutional Power, Jews, Journalism, Judaism, Legal Responsibility, life and death struggle, Literature, Love, Male Power, Memoir, memory, Messianic Age, Mind Control, Moral action, Moral evaluation, Moral psychology, morality, Mortality, motherhood, Ontology, Oppression, pacifism, Past and Future, Peace, Philosophy, Poetry, Political Movements, politics of ideas, post modernism, Power, presence, promissory notes, Propaganda, public facade, Public Intellectual, radicalism, Reductionism, relationships, Religion, Roles, Romantic Love, secular, Seduction, self-deception, social construction, Social Conventions, social ranking, spiritual journey, spiritual not religious, Spirituality, status, status of women, Suffering, Terror, terrorism, The Examined Life, The Problematic of Men, The Problematic of Woman, the profane, the sacred, Theism, Theology, Time, twentieth century, twenty-first century, Utopia, victimhood, victims, Violence, War, Work, Writing, Zeitgeist | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Men on the Timeline

Men on the Timeline The other night I was at the Franco-Tunisian café where I go to get some of my writing done.  A sizeable group had taken one side of the section where I found a round table.  They … Continue reading

Posted in "Absolute Freedom and Terror", Absurdism, Academe, Action, Alienation, American Politics, Anthropology, Art, Art of Living, Atheism, Autonomy, bigotry, Chivalry, Cities, Class, conformism, Contemplation, Contradictions, Cool, Courage, Cultural Politics, Culture, Desire, dialectic, Erotic Life, Eternity, Ethics, Evil, Existentialism, exploitation, Faith, Fashion, Femininity, Feminism, Films, Freedom, Friendship, Gender Balance, glitterati, Gnosticism, Guilt and Innocence, hegemony, Heroes, hidden God, hierarchy, history of ideas, ID, Idealism, Ideality, Identity, Ideology, Idolatry, Immorality, Institutional Power, Legal Responsibility, life and death struggle, Love, Male Power, Masculinity, master/slave relation, Memoir, memory, Mind Control, Modernism, Moral action, Moral evaluation, Moral psychology, morality, Oppression, Past and Future, Phenomenology of Mind, Philosophy, politics, politics of ideas, post modernism, Power, presence, promissory notes, Propaganda, Psychology, public facade, Public Intellectual, Race, Reductionism, relationships, Roles, Romance, Romantic Love, secular, Seduction, self-deception, Sex Appeal, Sexuality, social climbing, social construction, Social Conventions, social ranking, Sociobiology, spiritual journey, status, status of women, Suffering, The Examined Life, The Problematic of Men, The Problematic of Woman, the profane, the sacred, Theism, Theology, Time, twentieth century, twenty-first century, victimhood, victims, Violence, Work, Writing, Zeitgeist | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Male Gallantry

Male Gallantry Like Edgar Allan Poe’s Raven, here’s a topic that’s been tapping on the casement of my mind during the past few weeks.  It’s reminded me of an incident that happened some years back, when I was tenured, published … Continue reading

Posted in Absurdism, Academe, Action, Alienation, Anthropology, Art of Living, Atheism, Autonomy, Biblical God, bigotry, Chivalry, Cities, Class, conformism, Contemplation, Contradictions, Cool, Courage, Courtship, Cultural Politics, Culture, Desire, dialectic, Erotic Life, Eternity, Ethics, Evil, Existentialism, exploitation, Faith, Fashion, Femininity, Feminism, Freedom, Friendship, Gender Balance, glitterati, Guilt and Innocence, Health, hegemony, Heroes, hidden God, hierarchy, history of ideas, ID, Idealism, Ideality, Identity, Ideology, Immorality, Institutional Power, life and death struggle, Literature, Love, Male Power, Masculinity, memory, Mind Control, Modernism, Moral action, Moral evaluation, Moral psychology, morality, Mortality, Oppression, Past and Future, Philosophy, Poetry, Political Movements, politics of ideas, post modernism, Power, presence, promissory notes, Propaganda, Psychology, public facade, Reductionism, relationships, Religion, Roles, Romance, Romantic Love, secular, Seduction, self-deception, Sex Appeal, Sexuality, social climbing, social construction, Social Conventions, social ranking, Sociobiology, spiritual journey, Spirituality, status, status of women, Suffering, The Examined Life, The Problematic of Men, The Problematic of Woman, the profane, the sacred, Theism, Theology, Time, twentieth century, victimhood, victims, Work, Writing, Zeitgeist | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments