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.

My Therapist is a Horse

My Therapist is a Horse By that I don’t mean that it’s healthy for me to relax and do something different, rather than “think” all the time.  I mean Cali [aka California], a tall pinto, is my therapist. Last Friday, … Continue reading

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Time and Me

Time and Me  When I was a little girl, I didn’t worry about Time at all.  I pretended I was a deer and roved the forests.  I pretended I was a boy raised by wolves and roamed the jungle.  Back … Continue reading

Posted in Absurdism, Academe, Action, Afterlife, Alienation, Art, Art of Living, Autonomy, beauty, Childhood, conformism, Contemplation, Contradictions, Cool, Courtship, Cultural Politics, Culture, Desire, dialectic, Erotic Life, Eternity, Existentialism, Fashion, Femininity, Feminism, Freedom, Gender Balance, Guilt and Innocence, Health, Hegel, Identity, Literature, Love, Masculinity, Memoir, memory, Moral psychology, Mortality, motherhood, novels, Ontology, Past and Future, Peace, Philosophy, politics of ideas, post modernism, Power, presence, promissory notes, Psychology, Reading, Reductionism, relationships, Renaissance, Roles, Romance, Romantic Love, 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, The Examined Life, The Problematic of Men, The Problematic of Woman, the profane, the sacred, Time, twentieth century, twenty-first century, Work, Writing, Zeitgeist | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Worse, the Better?

The Worse, the Better? In the 1930’s a political strategy known as “worsism” was in fashion.   Worsists believed that the worse, the better! This meant, the more desperate people became, the closer we got to the revolution that would bring … Continue reading

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Androgyny?

Androgyny? “The Lure of Androgyny” is the title of an article I just read.  It reports that the trend to downplay biological differences between the sexes is now world-wide.  This is different from giving women equal opportunity.  More like: THERE’S … Continue reading

Posted in "Absolute Freedom and Terror", Absurdism, Academe, Action, Alienation, Anthropology, Art of Living, Autonomy, beauty, books, Chivalry, Christianity, 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, Gnosticism, Guilt and Innocence, Health, hegemony, Heroes, hidden God, hierarchy, history of ideas, ID, Idealism, Ideality, Identity, Ideology, Immorality, Institutional Power, Journalism, Legal Responsibility, life and death struggle, Literature, Male Power, Martyrdom, Masculinity, master/slave relation, Medieval, Memoir, memory, Mind Control, Modernism, Moral action, Moral evaluation, Moral psychology, morality, motherhood, novels, Oppression, Past and Future, Phenomenology of Mind, Philosophy, Poetry, Political Movements, politics of ideas, post modernism, Power, presence, promissory notes, Propaganda, Psychology, public facade, Public Intellectual, radicalism, Reading, Reductionism, relationships, Roles, Romance, Romantic Love, Romanticism, scientism, secular, Seduction, self-deception, Sex Appeal, Sexuality, slave, 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, Utopia, victimhood, victims, Violence, Work, Writing, Zeitgeist | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What Kind of a Jew Was Jesus?

What Kind of a Jew Was Jesus? The other night this question kept me up half the night. I’m not concerned with his orthodoxy.  He allowed healing on the Sabbath and held that what you said could be more polluting … Continue reading

Posted in Absurdism, Academe, Action, Afterlife, Art, Art of Living, Atheism, Autonomy, beauty, Bible, Biblical God, Christianity, conformism, Contemplation, Contradictions, Courage, Cultural Politics, Culture, Desire, dialectic, Erotic Life, Eternity, Ethics, Evil, Existentialism, Freedom, Friendship, Gender Balance, Gnosticism, Guilt and Innocence, Health, Heroes, hidden God, History, history of ideas, Ideality, Identity, Ideology, Idolatry, Immorality, Immortality, Institutional Power, Jews, Judaism, Law, Legal Responsibility, Love, Male Power, Masculinity, memory, Messianic Age, Mind Control, Moral action, Moral evaluation, Moral psychology, morality, non-violence, Ontology, Oppression, pacifism, Past and Future, Peace, Philosophy, Poetry, Political Movements, politics of ideas, Power, presence, promissory notes, Propaganda, Psychology, public facade, Reading, Reductionism, relationships, Religion, Roles, Romance, 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, Utopia, victims, Violence, Work, Writing, Zeitgeist | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Red Letter Day

Red Letter Day  In recent columns, I’ve alluded to reversals of fortune, a succession of them, coming in the form of rejection letters.  Two came from senior editors who turned down an article, controversial and breaking new ground, which was … Continue reading

Posted in Absurdism, Academe, Action, Afterlife, Alienation, American Politics, Anthropology, Art, Art of Living, Atheism, Autonomy, beauty, books, bureaucracy, Chivalry, Cities, Class, conformism, Contemplation, Contradictions, Cool, Courage, Courtship, cults, Cultural Politics, Culture, Desire, dialectic, Erotic Life, Eternity, Existentialism, exploitation, Faith, Fashion, Femininity, Feminism, Freedom, Friendship, Gender Balance, glitterati, Health, hegemony, hidden God, hierarchy, history of ideas, Ideality, Identity, Ideology, Idolatry, Immortality, Institutional Power, Literature, Love, Masculinity, master, Memoir, memory, Messianic Age, Mind Control, Modernism, Moral action, Moral evaluation, Moral psychology, novels, Ontology, Oppression, Past and Future, Philosophy, Political, politics of ideas, post modernism, Power, presence, Psychology, public facade, Public Intellectual, Race, radicalism, Reading, Reductionism, relationships, Roles, Romance, secular, Seduction, self-deception, Sex Appeal, Sexuality, 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, Theology, Time, twentieth century, twenty-first century, Utopia, victims, Work, Writing, Zeitgeist | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Ephrussis of Paris and Vienna

The Ephrussis of Paris and Vienna The book I’ve just finished reading had an impact on me greater than any book I can remember.  By impact, I don’t mean long-term influence on my heart or mind.  I mean something like … Continue reading

Posted in "Absolute Freedom and Terror", Absurdism, Academe, Action, Afterlife, Alienation, Art, Art of Living, Atheism, Autonomy, beauty, Biblical God, books, Christianity, Cities, Class, conformism, Contemplation, Contradictions, Cultural Politics, Culture, Desire, dialectic, Erotic Life, Eternity, Ethics, Evil, Existentialism, exploitation, Faith, Fashion, Femininity, Freedom, Friendship, glitterati, Guilt and Innocence, Hegel, hegemony, hidden God, hierarchy, History, history of ideas, ID, Ideality, Identity, Ideology, Idolatry, Immorality, Institutional Power, Jews, Judaism, Law, Legal Responsibility, life and death struggle, Literature, Martyrdom, Memoir, memory, Modernism, Moral action, Moral evaluation, Moral psychology, morality, Mortality, nineteenth-century, Ontology, Oppression, Past and Future, Phenomenology of Mind, Political, Political Movements, politics of ideas, post modernism, Power, presence, promissory notes, Propaganda, Psychology, public facade, Race, Reductionism, relationships, Religion, Roles, secular, Seduction, self-deception, social climbing, social construction, Social Conventions, social ranking, spiritual journey, spiritual not religious, status, status of women, Suffering, Terror, terrorism, The Examined Life, The Problematic of Men, The Problematic of Woman, the profane, the sacred, Theology, Time, twentieth century, twenty-first century, victimhood, victims, Violence, War, Work, Writing, Zeitgeist | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments