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.

The Return of the Well-Tailored Proto-Nazi

The Return of the Well-Tailored Proto-Nazi This is about my return encounter with the dapper gentleman who first surfaced last May, when I gave a talk at California’s Claremont School of Theology, based on a chapter from my book, A … Continue reading

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Book Matters

Book Matters  These are some of the books I’ve been reading lately – that I can recommend. A History of the American People by Paul Johnson. This book started out so fact-crammed and deadpan that I thought it would be … Continue reading

Posted in book reviews, books, Culture, Desire, History, Love, Reading | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Acting the Part

Acting the Part  When I was newly arrived in Paris as a young Fulbright Scholar, I was invited to have lunch at the home of the Israeli ambassador to France.  He was my mother’s first cousin.  Hence the invitation.  We … Continue reading

Posted in Absurdism, Academe, Action, Alienation, Art of Living, Autonomy, beauty, books, Cities, Class, conformism, Contemplation, Contradictions, Cool, Cultural Politics, Culture, Desire, dialectic, Erotic Life, Fashion, Femininity, Feminism, Freedom, Gender Balance, glitterati, hegemony, hierarchy, history of ideas, Ideality, Identity, Ideology, Idolatry, Institutional Power, Jews, Judaism, Literature, Love, Male Power, Martyrdom, Memoir, memory, Modernism, Moral psychology, novels, Ontology, Past and Future, Phenomenology of Mind, 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, Sex Appeal, Sexuality, social climbing, social construction, Social Conventions, social ranking, spiritual journey, spiritual not religious, status, status of women, The Examined Life, The Problematic of Men, The Problematic of Woman, the profane, the sacred, Time, twentieth century, Work, Writing, Zeitgeist | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Family Laundry

A cousin just told me that the Israeli branch of the family is putting out a book that she has seen in advance of publication.  It’s about the immediate forebears of that branch, who are people of large consequence in … Continue reading

Posted in Absolute freedom and terror, Absurdism, Academe, Action, Afterlife, Alienation, American Politics, Anthropology, Art, Art of Living, Autonomy, Bible, Biblical God, books, Christianity, Cities, Class, conformism, Contemplation, Contradictions, Courage, Cultural Politics, Culture, Desire, dialectic, Erotic Life, Ethics, Evil, Existentialism, exploitation, Faith, Fashion, Femininity, Feminism, Freedom, Friendship, glitterati, Guilt and Innocence, hegemony, Heroes, hidden God, hierarchy, History, history of ideas, Idealism, Ideality, Identity, Ideology, Idolatry, Immorality, Immortality, Institutional Power, Jews, Judaism, Legal Responsibility, life and death struggle, Literature, Medieval, Memoir, memory, Mind Control, Moral action, Moral evaluation, Moral psychology, morality, Oppression, Past and Future, Political Movements, politics of ideas, post modernism, Power, presence, Propaganda, Psychology, public facade, 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, Uncategorized, victimhood, victims, Violence, Work, Writing, Zeitgeist | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Love Stories

Love Stories Just now I am reading a book Jerry got me, titled, Love in the Western World.  Translated from the French, it’s by a guy named Denis de Rougement.  With a name like that, and a title like that, … Continue reading

Posted in Absolute freedom and terror, Absurdism, Academe, Action, Afterlife, Alienation, Art, Art of Living, Autonomy, beauty, Bible, Biblical God, books, Childhood, Chivalry, Christianity, Cities, Class, conformism, Contemplation, Contradictions, Courage, Courtship, Cultural Politics, Culture, Desire, Erotic Life, Eternity, Existentialism, Faith, Fashion, Femininity, Films, Freedom, Friendship, Gender Balance, Guilt and Innocence, Health, Hegel, hegemony, hidden God, History, history of ideas, ID, Idealism, Ideality, Identity, Ideology, Immorality, Immortality, Institutional Power, life and death struggle, Literature, Love, Male Power, Masculinity, Medieval, memory, Modernism, Moral action, Moral evaluation, Moral psychology, morality, Mortality, Mysticism, nineteenth-century, Oppression, pacifism, Past and Future, Peace, Philosophy, Political, Political Movements, politics of ideas, post modernism, Power, presence, Propaganda, Psychology, public facade, Public Intellectual, Reading, Reductionism, relationships, Religion, Roles, Romance, Romantic Love, 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, Theism, Theology, Time, twentieth century, twenty-first century, victims, Violence, War, Work, Writing, Zeitgeist | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

My Grandfather, Rav Tsair

*Erratum: The location of the Archives for Hebrew Union College/Jewish Institute of Religion is Cincinnati, not Cleveland.* My Grandfather, Rav Tsair  I almost never think about him.  He died when I was about ten, when other supports of a safe … Continue reading

Posted in "Absolute Freedom and Terror", Academe, Action, Art of Living, Atheism, Autonomy, beauty, Bible, Biblical God, books, Childhood, Cities, Class, conformism, Contemplation, Contradictions, Courage, Cultural Politics, Culture, Desire, Erotic Life, Eternity, Ethics, Evil, Existentialism, exploitation, Faith, Femininity, Freedom, Friendship, Gender Balance, Guilt and Innocence, Health, Hegel, hegemony, Heroes, hidden God, hierarchy, History, history of ideas, Idealism, Ideality, Identity, Ideology, Immorality, Institutional Power, Jews, Journalism, Judaism, Law, Legal Responsibility, life and death struggle, Literature, Love, Male Power, Martyrdom, Masculinity, Medieval, Memoir, memory, Modernism, Moral action, Moral evaluation, Moral psychology, morality, Mortality, nineteenth-century, non-violence, Oppression, pacifism, Past and Future, Peace, Phenomenology of Mind, Philosophy, Political Movements, politics of ideas, Power, presence, Propaganda, Psychology, public facade, Public Intellectual, Reading, Reductionism, relationships, Religion, Renaissance, Roles, scientism, secular, self-deception, social climbing, 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, Utopia, victimhood, victims, Violence, War, Work, Writing, Zeitgeist | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Thrill of Admiration

  The Thrill of Admiration These days I’m reading Jacob Howland’s wonderful book about Plato’s Republic, the great dialogue that shows how hard it is to teach virtue in the political arena. At the same time, I’m mentally settling down … Continue reading

Posted in "Absolute Freedom and Terror", Absurdism, Academe, Action, Afterlife, Alienation, American Politics, Art, Art of Living, Atheism, Autonomy, beauty, books, bureaucracy, Childhood, 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, Films, Freedom, Friendship, Gender Balance, glitterati, Guilt and Innocence, Health, hegemony, Heroes, hidden God, hierarchy, History, history of ideas, Idealism, Ideality, Identity, Ideology, Idolatry, Immorality, Immortality, Institutional Power, Jews, Journalism, Judaism, Legal Responsibility, life and death struggle, Literature, Love, Male Power, Martyrdom, Masculinity, master, master/slave relation, Memoir, memory, Mind Control, Modernism, Moral action, Moral evaluation, Moral psychology, morality, Mortality, Oppression, Past and Future, Philosophy, Poetry, Political, Political Movements, politics, politics of ideas, post modernism, Power, presence, Propaganda, Psychology, public facade, Public Intellectual, Reading, Reductionism, relationships, Religion, Roles, scientism, secular, Seduction, self-deception, Sex Appeal, social climbing, 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, Utopia, victimhood, victims, Violence, War, Work, Writing, Zeitgeist | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment