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 Father’s Diaries

My Father’s Diaries In the wake of the pandemic presently sweeping our small planet, the train of projects I had is now stalled. As the fact of this frustration sank in, it came to me to turn to a task … Continue reading

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Comprehending the Fate of Women

Comprehending the Fate of Women Alfred de Muset, the romantic French writer, wrote a play with the title, On ne badine pas avec l’amour, or in English, One Doesn’t Kid Around with Love.  The heroine of this play speaks a … Continue reading

Posted in "Absolute Freedom and Terror", Absurdism, Academe, Action, Alienation, American Politics, Anthropology, Art, Art of Living, Autonomy, beauty, Biblical God, books, Childhood, Chivalry, Class, conformism, Contemplation, Contradictions, Cool, Courage, Courtship, cults, Cultural Politics, Desire, dialectic, Erotic Life, Eternity, Ethics, Evil, Existentialism, exploitation, Faith, Fashion, Femininity, Feminism, Films, Freedom, Friendship, Gender Balance, Gnosticism, Guilt and Innocence, Health, 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, Masculinity, master, master/slave relation, Memoir, memory, Mind Control, Modernism, Moral action, Moral evaluation, Moral psychology, morality, motherhood, nineteenth-century, non-violence, novels, Ontology, Oppression, pacifism, Past and Future, Peace, Political Movements, politics of ideas, post modernism, Power, presence, promissory notes, Propaganda, Psychology, public facade, Public Intellectual, radicalism, Reading, Reductionism, relationships, Religion, 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, 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, Work, Writing, Zeitgeist | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

“Philosophy is Learning How to Die”

“Philosophy is Learning How to Die”  Socrates said that about philosophy, in front of his grieving student/disciples, at the hour when he was to down the lethal hemlock served him by the jailer.  Death was the sentence passed on him … Continue reading

Posted in Absurdism, Academe, Action, Afterlife, Alienation, Art of Living, books, Cities, conformism, Contemplation, Contradictions, Cool, Courage, Cultural Politics, Culture, Desire, dialectic, Erotic Life, Eternity, Ethics, Existentialism, exploitation, Faith, Fashion, Freedom, Friendship, Gender Balance, Guilt and Innocence, Health, Hegel, Heroes, hidden God, hierarchy, History, history of ideas, ID, Idealism, Ideality, Identity, Ideology, Idolatry, Immorality, Institutional Power, Law, Legal Responsibility, life and death struggle, Literature, Love, Martyrdom, Memoir, memory, Mind Control, Modernism, Moral action, Moral evaluation, Moral psychology, morality, Mortality, non-violence, Ontology, Oppression, Past and Future, Peace, Phenomenology of Mind, Philosophy, politics of ideas, post modernism, Power, presence, promissory notes, Propaganda, Psychology, public facade, Public Intellectual, Reading, Reductionism, relationships, Religion, Roles, scientism, secular, Seduction, self-deception, 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, Theology, Time, twentieth century, twenty-first century, victimhood, victims, Work, Writing, Zeitgeist | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Personal Meets the Political

The Personal Meets the Political I’m still reading A Dangerous Liaison, the book by Carole Seymour-Jones, about the great twentieth-century power couple, Simone de Beauvoir and Jean-Paul Sartre.  In my previous blog on them, I focused on the inconsistency between … Continue reading

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Book Matters

Dust Tracks on a Road by Zora Neal Hurston This is the autobiography of the great Zora Neal Hurston, whom I first learned of when Jerry started reading aloud from her novel, Their Eyes Were Watching God, at breakfast.  The … Continue reading

Posted in book reviews, books | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir

Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir Talk about a Power Couple!  He is responsible for the 20th-century French Existentialist claims that life is absurd, God nonexistent, we create our identities and the values we give to our projects. And she? … Continue reading

Posted in "Absolute Freedom and Terror", Absurdism, Academe, Action, Afterlife, Alienation, Art, Art of Living, Atheism, Autonomy, bad faith, beauty, Biblical God, books, Childhood, Cities, Class, conformism, Contemplation, Contradictions, Cool, Courage, Courtship, cults, Cultural Politics, Culture, Desire, dialectic, Erotic Life, Ethics, Evil, Existentialism, exploitation, Faith, Fashion, Femininity, Feminism, Freedom, Friendship, Gender Balance, glitterati, Gnosticism, Guilt and Innocence, Health, hegemony, Heroes, hidden God, hierarchy, history of ideas, ID, Idealism, Ideality, Identity, Ideology, Idolatry, Immorality, Institutional Power, Literature, Love, Male Power, master, Memoir, memory, Mind Control, Modernism, Moral action, Moral evaluation, Moral psychology, morality, novels, Ontology, Oppression, Past and Future, Philosophy, Political Movements, politics of ideas, post modernism, Power, presence, Propaganda, Psychology, public facade, Public Intellectual, radicalism, Reading, Reductionism, relationships, Religion, Roles, Romance, Romantic Love, secular, Seduction, self-deception, Sex Appeal, Sexuality, social climbing, social construction, Social Conventions, social ranking, spiritual not religious, status, status of women, The Examined Life, The Problematic of Men, The Problematic of Woman, the profane, the sacred, Theology, twentieth century, twenty-first century, victimhood, Work, Writing, Zeitgeist | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Death of a Friend

The Death of a Friend This week word came that my friend Shirley Kennedy had died.  On the one hand, I was relieved for her.  It was like hearing that a friend, unfairly imprisoned, had been set free.  On the … Continue reading

Posted in Afterlife, Art of Living, Autonomy, beauty, Chivalry, Class, Contemplation, Cool, Courage, Culture, Desire, Erotic Life, Eternity, Ethics, Existentialism, Faith, Femininity, Feminism, Freedom, Friendship, Gender Balance, Health, Heroes, hidden God, Ideality, Identity, Immortality, Jews, life and death struggle, Love, Memoir, memory, Moral action, Moral evaluation, Moral psychology, morality, Mortality, motherhood, nineteenth-century, Ontology, Past and Future, Peace, politics of ideas, Power, presence, Psychology, public facade, Public Intellectual, Reductionism, relationships, Roles, Romance, Romantic Love, scientism, secular, Social Conventions, social ranking, 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