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Was humanity created, or do humans create themselves? In this eagerly awaited English translation of Le Regne de l'homme, the last volume of Remi Brague's trilogy on the philosophical development of anthropology in the West, Brague argues that with the dawn of the Enlightenment, Western societies rejected the transcendence of the past and looked instead to the progress fostered by the early modern present and the future. As scientific advances drained the cosmos of literal mystery, humanity increasingly devalued the theophilosophical mystery of being in favor of omniscience over one's own existence. Brague narrates the intellectual disappearance of the natural order, replaced by a universal chaos upon which only humanity can impose order; he cites the vivid histories of the nation-state, economic evolution into capitalism, and technology as the tools of this new dominion, taken up voluntarily by humans for their own end rather than accepted from the deity for a divine purpose. Brague's tour de force begins with the ancient and medieval confidence in humanity as the superior creation of Nature or of God, epitomized in the biblical wish of the Creator for humans to exert stewardship over the earth. He sees the Enlightenment as a transition period, taking as a given that humankind should be masters of the world but rejecting the imposition of that duty by a deity. Before the Enlightenment, who the creator was and whom the creator dominated were clear. With the advance of modernity and banishment of the Creator, who was to be dominated? Today, Brague argues, "our humanism . . . is an anti-antihumanism, rather than a direct affirmation of the goodness of the human." He ends with a sobering question: does humankind still have the will to survive in an era of intellectual self-destruction? The Kingdom of Man will appeal to all readers interested in the history of ideas, but will be especially important to political philosophers, historical anthropologists, and theologians.
Such is the praise for Unjust Justice by the eminent French philosopher Chantal Delsol. Now available in paperback this book offers a devastating critique of progressives' relentless quest for "international law" and "international justice".This purportedly humanitarian project represents a way for the Western world to do penance for its missionary, colonial, and imperial past. But Delsol shows how deeply flawed it is in all respects - in its premises, means, and ends. In fact, the author demonstrates, the ideals and institutions of international law reflect the very moralistic dogmatism and inquisitorial spirit that the Enlightenment originally sought to vanquish.Delsol deflates the pretensions of contemporary progressives, unmasks they hypocrisies, and exposes the logic of they tyrannical methods. In so doing, she defends those real human and political values that are threatened by the zeal for international law.Unjust Justice completes Delsol's remarkable trilogy of studies devoted to examining "the spirit of late modernity." The First two works Icarus Fallen and The Unlearned Lessons of the Twentieth Century, are also available from ISI Books as part of the Crosscurrents series
This volume of essays explores the bases and significant aspects of the thought of the contemporary French philosopher, historian of ideas, and novelist, Chantal Delsol. A member of the French Academy of Moral and Political Sciences, she is well known in France as a political analyst and cultural diagnostician. This collection is the first book-length treatment of her thought available in English. It brings together studies that range from her philosophical anthropology to her incisive critique of a certain version of international law. In-between, there are essays that present her remarkable portrait of human beings increasingly characteristic of western societies, as well as her defense of the human person rightly understood. An exposition of the virtues of her conception of the family, as well as her analysis of contemporary matriarchy, complements those treatments. Along the way, her unique mode of cultural analysis is highlighted, together with her stout defense of genuine political life. The volume also includes translations of two chapters of her fundamental work of philosophical anthropology, Qu'est-ce que l'homme?. They appear here for the first time in English.
In this book, distinguished French philosopher Pierre Manent addresses a wide range of subjects, including the Machiavellian origins of modernity, Tocqueville's analysis of democracy, the political role of Christianity, the nature of totalitarianism and the future of the nation-state. As a whole, the book constitutes a meditation on the nature of modern freedom and the permanent discontents which accompany it. Manent is particularly concerned with the effects of modern democracy on the maintenance and sustenance of substantial human ties. Modern Liberty and its Discontents is both an important contribution to an understanding of modern society, and a significant contribution to political philosophy in its own right.
In this book, distinguished French philosopher Pierre Manent addresses a wide range of subjects, including the Machiavellian origins of modernity, Tocqueville's analysis of democracy, the political role of Christianity, the nature of totalitarianism, and the future of the nation-state. As a whole, the book constitutes a meditation on the nature of modern freedom and the permanent discontents which accompany it. Modern Liberty and its Discontents is both an important contribution to an understanding of modern society, and a significant contribution to political philosophy in its own right.
Can Europe survive after abandoning the national loyalties--and religious traditions--that provided meaning? And what will happen to the United States as it goes down a similar path?
The eminent French political philosopher Pierre Manent addresses these questions in his brilliant meditation on Europe's experiment in maximizing individual and social rights. By seeking to escape from the "national form," he shows, the European Union has weakened the very institutions that made possible liberty and self-government in the first place. Worse still, the "spiritual vacuity" that characterizes today's secular Europe--and, increasingly, the United States--is ultimately untenable.
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