The twenty-first century so far has seen the global rise of
authoritarian populism, systematic racism, and dogmatic
metaphysics. Even though these events demonstrate the growth of an
age of `unreason', in this original and compelling book John
Roberts resists the assumption that such thinking displays an
unthinking irrationality or loss of reason; instead he asserts that
an important feature of modern reactionary politics is that it
offers a supposedly convincing integration of the particular and
the universal. This move is defined by what Roberts calls the
`reasoning of unreason' and has deep roots in the history of
Western thought and politics. Tracing the dark history of
enlightenment-disenlightenment, John Roberts explores `the
reasoning of unreason' across centuries from Aquinas, William of
Ockham, the most important treatise on witchcraft Malleus
Maleficarum, Locke, Kant, and Count Arthur de Gobineau, to Social
Darwinism, Nazism, Carl Schmitt, Leo Strauss, and Friedrich von
Hayek. Roberts provides a new set of philosophical-political tools
to understand the formation and denigration of the rational subject
and the current reinvestment in various forms of political unreason
globally. The Reasoning of Unreason is the first book to draw on
the philosophy of reason, political philosophy, political theory
and political history, in order to produce a dialectical account of
the `making of reason' internal to the forces of unreason and the
limits of reason.
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