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.

It’s Our Twentieth!

It’s Our Twentieth! January 20th, 2020, is our twentieth anniversary and, over the past few days, we’ve been talking about what it all means. In our first year, when I still lived in New York and Jerry in Washington D.C., … Continue reading

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The Body Problem

The Body Problem Some years back, a path-breaking feminist book was published bearing the title, Our Bodies/Our Selves.  It included black and white photos of stuff that I was not liberated enough to inspect too closely.  I would have titled … Continue reading

Posted in "Absolute Freedom and Terror", Absurdism, Academe, Action, Alienation, American Politics, Anthropology, Art, Art of Living, Autonomy, beauty, Biblical God, books, Chivalry, Christianity, Cities, Class, conformism, Contemplation, Contradictions, Cool, Courage, Cultural Politics, Culture, Desire, dialectic, Erotic Life, Eternity, Existentialism, Faith, Fashion, Femininity, Feminism, Freedom, Friendship, Health, hidden God, hierarchy, history of ideas, Idealism, Ideality, Identity, Ideology, Institutional Power, Jews, Journalism, Judaism, Law, life and death struggle, Love, Memoir, memory, Modernism, Moral action, Moral evaluation, Moral psychology, morality, Mortality, Mysticism, non-violence, Ontology, Oppression, Past and Future, Peace, Philosophy, Poetry, Political, Political Movements, politics of ideas, post modernism, Power, presence, promissory notes, Propaganda, Psychology, public facade, Public Intellectual, radicalism, Reading, Reductionism, relationships, Religion, Roles, scientism, secular, Seduction, self-deception, Sex Appeal, Sexuality, social construction, Social Conventions, social ranking, 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, Work, Writing, Zeitgeist | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Jews, Christians, and Jesus

Jews, Christians, and Jesus  I’ve just finished a scholarly book whose conclusion left me head-spinningly dumbfounded. Since I’m supposed to be a philosophe by profession, I’m pretty used to scholarly books, bring some acquired insulation to the reading of them, … Continue reading

Posted in "Absolute Freedom and Terror", Absurdism, Academe, Action, Afterlife, Alienation, American Politics, Art, Art of Living, Atheism, Autonomy, Bible, Biblical God, books, Christianity, Cities, Class, conformism, Contemplation, Contradictions, Courage, cults, Cultural Politics, Culture, Desire, dialectic, Erotic Life, Eternity, Ethics, Evil, Existentialism, exploitation, Faith, Fashion, Freedom, Friendship, Gender Balance, glitterati, Gnosticism, Guilt and Innocence, hegemony, Heroes, hidden God, hierarchy, History, history of ideas, Idealism, Ideality, Identity, Ideology, Immortality, Institutional Power, Jews, Judaism, Law, Legal Responsibility, life and death struggle, Literature, Love, Male Power, Martyrdom, Masculinity, master, Medieval, memory, Messianic Age, Mind Control, Moral action, Moral evaluation, Moral psychology, morality, Mortality, Ontology, Oppression, Past and Future, Peace, Philosophy, Political Movements, politics of ideas, post modernism, Power, presence, Propaganda, Psychology, public facade, Reading, Religion, Roles, 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, victims, Violence, War, Work, Writing, Zeitgeist | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Who’s In Charge Here?

Who’s In Charge Here? Today I read an essay about the meaning of life.  It was written in the form of a book review by Peter Brooks of The Storyteller Essays by Walter Benjamin.  The review appears in the current … Continue reading

Posted in "Absolute Freedom and Terror", Absurdism, Academe, Action, Afterlife, Alienation, Art, Art of Living, Atheism, Autonomy, beauty, Bible, Biblical God, books, Christianity, Cities, Class, Contemplation, Contradictions, Cultural Politics, Culture, Desire, dialectic, Erotic Life, Eternity, Ethics, Evil, Existentialism, Faith, Fashion, Freedom, Gender Balance, glitterati, Guilt and Innocence, Hegel, Heroes, hidden God, History, history of ideas, Idealism, Ideality, Identity, Immorality, Jews, Judaism, life and death struggle, Literature, Love, Masculinity, master/slave relation, Memoir, memory, Mind Control, Modernism, Moral action, Moral evaluation, Moral psychology, morality, Mortality, novels, Past and Future, Phenomenology of Mind, Philosophy, politics of ideas, post modernism, Power, presence, promissory notes, Psychology, Public Intellectual, Reading, Reductionism, relationships, Religion, Roles, Romance, scientism, secular, 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, twenty-first century, victimhood, victims, Violence, Work, Writing, Zeitgeist | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Book Matters

Book Matters Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass: An American Slave Written by Himself by Frederick Douglass, edited by Benjamin Quarles I know of no book, and no reading experience, like this one.  Years ago, I read Uncle Tom’s … Continue reading

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The Moral Markers

The Moral Markers From time to time, I pause to picture how the recent phases of my life would look to me if there were no God in the pictures.  It’s a sort of thought experiment. Philosophers are given to … Continue reading

Posted in Absurdism, Action, Alienation, Anthropology, Art of Living, Atheism, Autonomy, books, Class, conformism, Contemplation, Contradictions, Cool, cults, Cultural Politics, Culture, Desire, dialectic, Erotic Life, Ethics, Evil, Existentialism, exploitation, Faith, Fashion, Femininity, Feminism, Freedom, Friendship, glitterati, Gnosticism, Guilt and Innocence, Health, hegemony, hidden God, hierarchy, History, history of ideas, ID, Idealism, Ideality, Identity, Ideology, Idolatry, Immorality, Institutional Power, Journalism, Legal Responsibility, life and death struggle, Literature, Masculinity, Memoir, memory, Mind Control, Modernism, Moral action, Moral evaluation, Moral psychology, morality, Mortality, nineteenth-century, novels, Ontology, Oppression, Past and Future, Peace, Philosophy, Political Movements, politics of ideas, post modernism, Power, presence, promissory notes, Propaganda, Psychology, public facade, Public Intellectual, radicalism, Reading, Reductionism, relationships, Religion, Roles, scientism, 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, Theism, Theology, Time, twentieth century, twenty-first century, victimhood, Violence, War, Work, Writing, Zeitgeist | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Lost Innocence and Tanya Tucker

Lost Innocence and Tanya Tucker Tanya Tucker hasn’t put out a country album in 17 years.  While she’s been… wherever she’s been… country music has changed and now resembles rock ‘n roll.  There’s a heavy, percussive roar behind virtually every … Continue reading

Posted in "Absolute Freedom and Terror", Absurdism, Action, Alienation, American Politics, Art, Art of Living, Autonomy, beauty, Biblical God, Chivalry, Christianity, conformism, Contradictions, Cool, Courage, Courtship, Cultural Politics, Culture, Desire, dialectic, Erotic Life, Ethics, Evil, exploitation, Faith, Fashion, Femininity, Feminism, Films, Freedom, Friendship, Gender Balance, Guilt and Innocence, hegemony, Heroes, hidden God, hierarchy, history of ideas, ID, Idealism, Ideality, Identity, Ideology, Journalism, life and death struggle, Literature, Love, Male Power, Masculinity, Memoir, memory, Mind Control, Modernism, Moral action, Moral evaluation, Moral psychology, morality, Mortality, nineteenth-century, Oppression, Past and Future, Philosophy, Poetry, Political Movements, politics of ideas, post modernism, Power, presence, Psychology, public facade, Reductionism, relationships, Religion, Roles, Romance, Romantic Love, Romanticism, scientism, secular, Seduction, self-deception, Sex Appeal, Sexuality, 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, TV, twentieth century, twenty-first century, victimhood, victims, Violence, War, Work, Writing, Zeitgeist | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment