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.

In the Hall of Mourning, There are Many Mansions

In the Hall of Mourning, There are Many Mansions  A friend got in touch Sunday evening a week ago to tell me he’d been scheduled for the gravest kind of surgery in the morning.  My friend has been a colleague … Continue reading

Posted in "Absolute Freedom and Terror", Absurdism, Academe, Action, Afterlife, Alienation, Anthropology, Art, Art of Living, Atheism, Autonomy, beauty, Bible, Biblical God, Chivalry, Christianity, Cities, Class, conformism, Contemplation, Contradictions, Cool, Courage, Cultural Politics, Culture, Desire, dialectic, Eternity, Ethics, Existentialism, Faith, Fashion, Freedom, Friendship, Gender Balance, Guilt and Innocence, Health, Heroes, hidden God, hierarchy, history of ideas, Idealism, Ideality, Identity, Immortality, Jews, Judaism, Legal Responsibility, life and death struggle, Literature, Love, Masculinity, Memoir, memory, Modernism, Moral action, Moral evaluation, Moral psychology, Mortality, Ontology, Past and Future, Peace, Philosophy, Poetry, politics of ideas, post modernism, Power, presence, Psychology, public facade, Public Intellectual, Reductionism, relationships, Religion, Roles, scientism, secular, self-deception, 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, Work, Writing, Zeitgeist | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Shunning

Shunning  We are social beings, so nobody likes to be shunned.  I first encountered shunning after I wrote a letter to Proceedings and Addresses.  That’s the journal where schedules for philosophic meetings are posted, academic publishers place ads for their … Continue reading

Posted in "Absolute Freedom and Terror", Absurdism, Academe, Action, Alienation, American Politics, Anthropology, Art, Art of Living, Atheism, Autonomy, conformism, Contemplation, Contradictions, cults, Cultural Politics, Culture, Desire, dialectic, eighteenth century, Erotic Life, Eternity, Ethics, Evil, Existentialism, exploitation, Faith, Fashion, Femininity, Feminism, Freedom, Friendship, Gender Balance, glitterati, Gnosticism, Guilt and Innocence, Health, Hegel, hegemony, Heroes, hidden God, hierarchy, History, history of ideas, ID, Idealism, Ideality, Identity, Ideology, Idolatry, Immorality, Immortality, Institutional Power, Journalism, Law, Legal Responsibility, life and death struggle, Male Power, Martyrdom, Masculinity, master/slave relation, Memoir, memory, Mind Control, Modernism, Moral action, Moral evaluation, Moral psychology, Oppression, Past and Future, Phenomenology of Mind, Philosophy, Poetry, Political, Political Movements, politics, politics of ideas, post modernism, Power, presence, promissory notes, Propaganda, Psychology, public facade, Public Intellectual, Race, radicalism, Reductionism, relationships, Religion, Roles, 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, Terror, The Examined Life, The Problematic of Men, The Problematic of Woman, the profane, the sacred, Time, twentieth century, twenty-first century, Utopia, victimhood, victims, Violence, Work, Writing, Zeitgeist | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Sacrificial Acts

  Sacrificial Acts A review of mine, written in support of an author I greatly admire, was just accepted for publication.  It was written at the sacrifice of long-postponed time and energy that, right now, I really needed to expend … Continue reading

Posted in Absurdism, Academe, Action, Art of Living, Autonomy, books, bureaucracy, Cities, conformism, Contemplation, Contradictions, Cool, Courage, Courtship, Cultural Politics, Culture, Desire, Erotic Life, Ethics, Evil, Existentialism, exploitation, Faith, Fashion, Femininity, Feminism, Friendship, Gender Balance, glitterati, Guilt and Innocence, Health, hegemony, Heroes, hidden God, hierarchy, History, history of ideas, Idealism, Ideality, Identity, Ideology, Idolatry, Immorality, Institutional Power, Law, Legal Responsibility, life and death struggle, Literature, Love, Martyrdom, Masculinity, master/slave relation, Memoir, memory, Mind Control, Modernism, Moral action, Moral evaluation, Moral psychology, Oppression, Past and Future, Philosophy, Political, politics of ideas, Power, presence, promissory notes, Propaganda, Psychology, public facade, Public Intellectual, Reductionism, relationships, Religion, Roles, Romance, Romantic Love, Romanticism, 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, Work, Writing, Zeitgeist | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Kosher?

Kosher? O dear.  This is what you call a “vexed” topic.  A couple of years back, in my temple’s Saturday Torah Study, we came to verses that spell out what you are and aren’t supposed to eat, if you’re Jewish. … Continue reading

Posted in Absurdism, Academe, Action, Alienation, Anthropology, Art of Living, Atheism, Autonomy, beauty, Bible, Biblical God, bureaucracy, Childhood, Christianity, Cities, conformism, Contemplation, Contradictions, Cool, Courage, Cultural Politics, Culture, Desire, dialectic, Erotic Life, Eternity, Ethics, Existentialism, exploitation, Faith, Femininity, Freedom, Friendship, Guilt and Innocence, Health, Hegel, hegemony, Heroes, hidden God, hierarchy, History, history of ideas, Idealism, Ideality, Identity, Ideology, Idolatry, Institutional Power, Jews, Judaism, Law, Legal Responsibility, life and death struggle, Literature, Love, Male Power, Masculinity, Memoir, memory, Mind Control, Modernism, Moral action, Moral evaluation, Moral psychology, Mysticism, Ontology, Oppression, Past and Future, Peace, Phenomenology of Mind, Philosophy, Poetry, Political, politics, politics of ideas, Power, presence, promissory notes, Propaganda, Psychology, public facade, Public Intellectual, Reductionism, relationships, Religion, Roles, scientism, secular, self-deception, 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

The Psalms

The Psalms The other day, and night, I was having a dark night of the soul. It was about A Good Look at Evil again, and the recurrent struggle to get my book shown correctly on Amazon.  My patient readers … Continue reading

Posted in Action, Afterlife, Alienation, Art, Art of Living, Atheism, Autonomy, beauty, Bible, Biblical God, Childhood, Christianity, conformism, Contemplation, Contradictions, Cool, Courage, Cultural Politics, Culture, Desire, dialectic, Erotic Life, Eternity, Ethics, Evil, Existentialism, exploitation, Faith, Femininity, Feminism, Freedom, Friendship, Guilt and Innocence, Heroes, hidden God, history of ideas, Idealism, Ideality, Identity, Idolatry, Immorality, Immortality, Institutional Power, Jews, Law, 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, non-violence, novels, Oppression, Past and Future, Peace, Philosophy, Poetry, Political, Political Movements, politics, politics of ideas, Power, presence, promissory notes, Propaganda, Psychology, public facade, radicalism, 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, Terror, The Examined Life, The Problematic of Men, The Problematic of Woman, the profane, the sacred, Theism, Theology, Time, TV, twenty-first century, victimhood, victims, Violence, Work, Writing, Zeitgeist | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

My Identity Crisis

My Identity Crisis Our week in California, never an easy one — because much has always required attention there — was difficult in various ways but notably hard for me this time. First, the neuropathy treatments I get at Loma … Continue reading

Posted in Absurdism, Academe, Action, Alienation, Anthropology, Art, Art of Living, Autonomy, beauty, Childhood, Chivalry, Cities, Contemplation, Contradictions, Cool, Courtship, Cultural Politics, Culture, Desire, dialectic, Erotic Life, Eternity, Ethics, Evil, Existentialism, exploitation, Faith, Fashion, Femininity, Feminism, Films, Freedom, Gender Balance, glitterati, Health, Heroes, history of ideas, ID, Idealism, Ideality, Identity, Immorality, Institutional Power, Jews, Journalism, Judaism, Legal Responsibility, life and death struggle, Literature, Love, Masculinity, Memoir, memory, Modernism, Moral action, Moral evaluation, Moral psychology, novels, Past and Future, Philosophy, politics of ideas, post modernism, Power, presence, Psychology, public facade, Public Intellectual, relationships, Roles, Romance, Romantic Love, Seduction, self-deception, Sex Appeal, social construction, spiritual journey, spiritual not religious, Spirituality, status, status of women, Suffering, The Examined Life, The Problematic of Men, The Problematic of Woman, Time, twentieth century, twenty-first century, victims, Work, Writing, Zeitgeist | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Read Any Good Books Lately?

Read Any Good Books Lately? We are in California for my neuropathy treatments, Jerry’s seminar at the Claremont School of Theology and family reunions.  So, in lieu of my usual weekly column, here is something completely different. I don’t just … Continue reading

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