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 and as an audiobook. 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 and illustrated, 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. 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.

Healing at a Distance?

Healing at a Distance? The other day I had a distance healing.  Of what? you might ask.  Was it a psychological problem?  That’s why we have therapists.  Was it a physical problem?  We have medically-approved treatments for those, backed by … Continue reading

Posted in Absurdism, Academe, Action, Afterlife, Alienation, Art of Living, Atheism, Autonomy, bad faith, beauty, Biblical God, Chivalry, Cities, conformism, Contemplation, Contradictions, Cool, Courage, Courtship, Cultural Politics, Culture, Desire, dialectic, Erotic Life, Eternity, Existentialism, exploitation, Faith, Fashion, Female Power, Femininity, Feminism, Freedom, Gender Balance, Guilt and Innocence, Health, hegemony, Heroes, History, history of ideas, idealism, Identity, Institutional Power, life and death struggle, Love, Masculinity, memory, Modern Women, Modernism, Moral action, Moral evaluation, Moral psychology, Mortality, Ontology, Oppression, Past and Future, Philosophy, politics of ideas, post modernism, Power, presence, promissory notes, Psychology, public facade, Public Intellectual, Reading, Reductionism, relationships, Roles, Romance, Romantic Love, Romanticism, scientism, secular, self-deception, Sex Appeal, Sexuality, social construction, Social Conventions, social ranking, spiritual journey, spiritual not religious, 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, twenty-first century, victimhood, Work, Writing, Zeitgeist | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How Did I Get To Be This Happy?

How Did I Get To Be This Happy? If I put this question to an existentialist, the answer would be: “Because you’re inauthentic.  You walk around in bad faith.”  The human situation can be deemed absurd (if you’re feeling French) … Continue reading

Posted in "Absolute Freedom and Terror", Absurdism, Academe, Action, Afterlife, Alienation, American Politics, Anthropology, Art of Living, Atheism, Autonomy, bad faith, beauty, Biblical God, books, Childhood, Chivalry, Christianity, Cities, Class, conformism, Contemplation, Contradictions, Cool, Courage, Cultural Politics, Culture, Desire, dialectic, eighteenth century, Erotic Life, Eternity, Ethics, Evil, Existentialism, exploitation, Faith, Fashion, Female Power, Femininity, Feminism, Freedom, Friendship, Gender Balance, glitterati, Gnosticism, Guilt and Innocence, Heroes, hidden God, hierarchy, history of ideas, Idealism, Ideality, Identity, Ideology, Idolatry, Immorality, Institutional Power, Jews, Judaism, Legal Responsibility, life and death struggle, Literature, Love, Male Power, Martyrdom, Masculinity, master/slave relation, Memoir, memory, Mind Control, Modern Women, Modernism, Moral action, Moral evaluation, Moral psychology, morality, Mortality, Mysticism, non-violence, novels, Ontology, Oppression, Past and Future, Peace, Philosophy, politics of ideas, post modernism, Power, presence, Propaganda, Psychology, Public Intellectual, Reading, Reductionism, relationships, Religion, Roles, secular, Seduction, self-deception, social construction, social ranking, spiritual journey, spiritual not religious, 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, twenty-first century, victimhood, Work, Writing, Zeitgeist | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Good Look at Evil Is Now an Audio Book!

We meet with evil in the ordinary course of experience, as we try to live our life stories. It’s not a myth. It’s a mysterious but quite real phenomenon. How can we recognize it? How can we learn to resist … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Forgiveness Revisited

Forgiveness Revisited Lately I’ve come to a new attitude toward forgiveness and, for me, it’s a really great change.  You might say, it’s a move closer to the Christian view, but that would be misleading.  The change was prompted by … Continue reading

Posted in "Absolute Freedom and Terror", Absurdism, Action, Afterlife, Alienation, Anthropology, Art of Living, Atheism, Autonomy, bad faith, Biblical God, Childhood, Christianity, Cities, Class, conformism, Contemplation, Contradictions, Cool, Courage, cults, Cultural Politics, Culture, Desire, dialectic, eighteenth century, Erotic Life, Eternity, Ethics, Evil, Existentialism, exploitation, Faith, Fashion, Female Power, Femininity, Feminism, Freedom, Friendship, Gender Balance, glitterati, Gnosticism, Guilt and Innocence, Health, hegemony, Heroes, hidden God, hierarchy, History, history of ideas, idealism, Ideality, Identity, Idolatry, Immorality, Institutional Power, Jews, Judaism, Law, Legal Responsibility, life and death struggle, Literature, Love, Male Power, Martyrdom, master/slave relation, Memoir, memory, Mind Control, Modern Women, Modernism, Moral action, Moral evaluation, Moral psychology, morality, Mortality, non-violence, Ontology, Oppression, pacifism, Past and Future, Peace, politics of ideas, post modernism, Power, presence, promissory notes, Propaganda, Psychology, public facade, Public Intellectual, Reading, Reductionism, relationships, Religion, Roles, secular, Seduction, self-deception, Sex Appeal, social climbing, social construction, Social Conventions, social ranking, Sociobiology, spiritual journey, spiritual not religious, Spirituality, status, status of women, 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, victimhood, victims, Violence, War, Work, Writing, Zeitgeist | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Proceedings and Addresses

Proceedings and Addresses Proceedings is the shared forum, like the Athenian agora, where American philosophers who have managed to command the attention of their colleagues publish their invited addresses. Since 2000, I’ve stepped down from active faculty status (though not … Continue reading

Posted in Absurdism, Academe, Action, Afterlife, Alienation, American Politics, Anthropology, Art of Living, Atheism, Autonomy, bad faith, beauty, book reviews, books, bureaucracy, Chivalry, Cities, Class, conformism, Contemplation, Contradictions, Cool, Courage, Cultural Politics, Culture, Desire, dialectic, Erotic Life, Eternity, Ethics, Evil, Existentialism, exploitation, Faith, Fashion, Female Power, Femininity, Feminism, Freedom, Friendship, Gender Balance, glitterati, Guilt and Innocence, hegemony, Heroes, hierarchy, history of ideas, Ideality, Identity, Ideology, Idolatry, Immorality, Institutional Power, life and death struggle, Love, Male Power, Masculinity, Memoir, memory, Modern Women, Modernism, Moral action, Moral evaluation, Moral psychology, morality, Mortality, non-violence, Ontology, Oppression, Past and Future, Philosophy, politics of ideas, post modernism, Power, presence, Propaganda, Psychology, public facade, Public Intellectual, Reading, Reductionism, relationships, Roles, Romance, Romantic Love, science, scientism, Seduction, self-deception, seventeeth century, Sex Appeal, social climbing, social construction, Social Conventions, social ranking, Sociobiology, spiritual journey, spiritual not religious, status, status of women, Suffering, The Examined Life, The Problematic of Men, The Problematic of Woman, the profane, the sacred, Time, twentieth century, twenty-first century, victimhood, Work, Writing, Zeitgeist | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Baal Shem Tov

The Baal Shem Tov The Baal Shem Tov (Master of the Good Name) is the preeminent Hassidic master, the 18th-century founder (1700-1760) and prototype of any follower who practices in that tradition.  His very presence was said to be a … Continue reading

Posted in Absurdism, Action, Afterlife, Alienation, Anthropology, Art of Living, Atheism, Autonomy, bad faith, beauty, Biblical God, bigotry, books, Christianity, Cities, Class, conformism, Contemplation, Contradictions, Cool, Courage, Cultural Politics, Culture, Desire, dialectic, eighteenth century, Erotic Life, Eternity, Ethics, Existentialism, exploitation, Faith, Fashion, Gnosticism, Guilt and Innocence, Health, Heroes, hidden God, history of ideas, idealism, Ideality, Identity, Ideology, Idolatry, Immortality, Jews, Judaism, Legal Responsibility, life and death struggle, Literature, Love, Martyrdom, Memoir, memory, Messianic Age, Mind Control, Modernism, Moral action, Moral evaluation, Moral psychology, morality, Mortality, Mysticism, non-violence, Ontology, Oppression, Past and Future, Peace, Philosophy, politics of ideas, post modernism, Power, presence, promissory notes, Propaganda, Psychology, public facade, Public Intellectual, Reading, Reductionism, relationships, Religion, Roles, secular, Seduction, self-deception, social climbing, 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, victimhood, victims, Work, Writing, Zeitgeist | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Back by Popular Demand: It’s Hegel!

Back by Popular Demand:  It’s Hegel! Hegel is one of the philosophers from whom I’ve learned a lot.  Though he was born and died in nineteenth-century Germany, he’s still timely. In the Anglo-American sphere, the question I get is, “What’s … Continue reading

Posted in "Absolute Freedom and Terror", Absurdism, Academe, Action, Afterlife, Alienation, American Politics, Art of Living, Autonomy, bad faith, bigotry, books, bureaucracy, Chivalry, Cities, Class, conformism, Contemplation, Contradictions, Courage, cults, Cultural Politics, Culture, Desire, dialectic, eighteenth century, Erotic Life, Eternity, Ethics, Evil, Existentialism, exploitation, Faith, Fashion, Freedom, Friendship, Gender Balance, glitterati, Gnosticism, Guilt and Innocence, Hegel, hegemony, Heroes, hidden God, hierarchy, History, history of ideas, ID, Idealism, Ideality, Identity, Ideology, Idolatry, Immorality, Institutional Power, Legal Responsibility, life and death struggle, Literature, Love, Male Power, Martyrdom, Masculinity, master, master/slave relation, Memoir, memory, Messianic Age, Mind Control, Modern Women, Modernism, Moral action, Moral evaluation, Moral psychology, morality, Mortality, nineteenth-century, novels, Ontology, Oppression, Past and Future, Peace, Phenomenology of Mind, Philosophy, Political, Political Movements, politics, politics of ideas, post modernism, Power, presence, promissory notes, Propaganda, Psychology, public facade, Public Intellectual, radicalism, Reading, Reductionism, relationships, Religion, Roles, Romanticism, scientism, secular, Seduction, self-deception, Sex Appeal, Sexuality, social climbing, social construction, Social Conventions, social ranking, Sociobiology, spiritual journey, spiritual not religious, Spirituality, status, status of women, Suffering, Terror, The Examined Life, The Problematic of Men, The Problematic of Woman, the profane, the sacred, Theology, twentieth century, twenty-first century, Utopia, victimhood, victims, Violence, War, Work, Writing, Zeitgeist | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Getting Airier

Getting Airier A funny thing happened while I was riding California, the horse that’s smarter than I am.  I’d been telling my trainer the various things I’d managed to get done while the pandemic had placed us all under house … Continue reading

Posted in "Absolute Freedom and Terror", Absurdism, Academe, Action, Afterlife, Alienation, American Politics, Anthropology, Art, Art of Living, Autonomy, bad faith, Bible, Biblical God, books, Childhood, Cities, Class, conformism, Contemplation, Contradictions, Cool, Courage, Courtship, Cultural Politics, Culture, Desire, dialectic, Erotic Life, Eternity, Ethics, Existentialism, exploitation, Faith, Fashion, Female Power, Femininity, Feminism, Freedom, Friendship, Gender Balance, glitterati, Guilt and Innocence, Health, Hegel, hegemony, Heroes, hidden God, hierarchy, history of ideas, Idealism, Ideality, Identity, Ideology, Idolatry, Immortality, Institutional Power, Legal Responsibility, Literature, Love, Masculinity, Mind Control, Modern Women, Modernism, Moral action, Moral evaluation, Moral psychology, morality, Mortality, motherhood, non-violence, novels, Ontology, Oppression, Past and Future, Peace, Philosophy, politics of ideas, post modernism, Power, presence, Propaganda, Psychology, public facade, Public Intellectual, Reading, Reductionism, relationships, Religion, Roles, secular, Seduction, self-deception, social climbing, social construction, Social Conventions, social ranking, spiritual journey, spiritual not religious, 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, twenty-first century, Work, Writing, Zeitgeist | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Who Can You Believe?

Who Can You Believe? Since I don’t ask questions like the one above just to answer them with an urbane shoulder shrug, I’ll be glad to tell you.  About a week ago, I received a call from someone I really … Continue reading

Posted in Absurdism, Academe, Action, Afterlife, Art, Art of Living, Atheism, Autonomy, bad faith, beauty, books, Childhood, Class, conformism, Contemplation, Contradictions, Cool, Courage, Cultural Politics, Culture, Desire, eighteenth century, Erotic Life, Eternity, Ethics, Existentialism, exploitation, Faith, Fashion, Freedom, Friendship, Gender Balance, glitterati, Guilt and Innocence, Health, Heroes, hidden God, hierarchy, history of ideas, Idealism, Ideality, Identity, Ideology, Idolatry, Immortality, Institutional Power, Law, Legal Responsibility, Literature, Love, Masculinity, master, memory, Mind Control, Modern Women, Modernism, Moral action, Moral evaluation, Moral psychology, morality, motherhood, nineteenth-century, non-violence, novels, Ontology, Oppression, Past and Future, Peace, Philosophy, Poetry, Political Movements, politics of ideas, post modernism, Power, presence, promissory notes, Psychology, public facade, Public Intellectual, Reading, Reductionism, relationships, Roles, secular, Seduction, self-deception, social climbing, social construction, Social Conventions, social ranking, Sociobiology, spiritual journey, spiritual not religious, Spirituality, status, status of women, Suffering, The Examined Life, The Problematic of Men, The Problematic of Woman, the profane, the sacred, Time, twenty-first century, Work, Writing, Zeitgeist | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

New Year Retrospective

New Year Retrospective I don’t make New Year’s Resolutions.  If they had any force for me, I might.  First, you gotta believe in those things. But I do find living force in going back over the path recently trodden, to … Continue reading

Posted in "Absolute Freedom and Terror", Absurdism, Academe, Action, Afterlife, Alienation, American Politics, Anthropology, Art, Art of Living, Atheism, Autonomy, bad faith, beauty, Bible, Biblical God, books, Childhood, Cities, Class, conformism, Contemplation, Contradictions, Cool, Courage, Cultural Politics, Culture, Desire, dialectic, Erotic Life, Eternity, Ethics, Evil, Existentialism, exploitation, Faith, Fashion, Femininity, Freedom, Friendship, Gender Balance, glitterati, Guilt and Innocence, Health, Heroes, hidden God, hierarchy, history of ideas, Idealism, Ideality, Identity, Immorality, Immortality, Institutional Power, Jews, Judaism, life and death struggle, Love, Male Power, Masculinity, Memoir, memory, Modern Women, Modernism, Moral action, Moral evaluation, Moral psychology, morality, Mortality, novels, Ontology, Past and Future, Philosophy, politics of ideas, post modernism, Power, presence, Psychology, public facade, Public Intellectual, Reading, relationships, Religion, Roles, secular, self-deception, social climbing, 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, Work, Writing, Zeitgeist | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments