Skip to main content

The Idea of Socialism

Tomas Stølen Marx & Philosophy Review of Books
An English translation of this significant book by an important contemporary German philosopher reached U.S. bookstores earlier this year. Here, Tomas Stølen reviews the German edition, which was published two years ago.

books

Adorno's The Authoritarian Personality

Christopher Vials Against the Current, March-April 2017
Based on research during and immediately following World War 2, this pathbreaking book analyzed the proclivities individuals might have toward support for authoritarian regimes, stressing preconceived attitudes on race, class, sexuality and nationalism, concluding that fascism’s attraction came not (or not just) from political agreement but from a personality structured by larger, repressive social forces in which sociological influences upon ideology are mediated.

books

Socrates of Amazonia

Robert Minto Open Letters Monthly
The "great majority of people deemed philosophers in history," writes Justin E. H. Smith in this new book, "have not had PhDs, have not belonged to a professional philosophical organization, and have not carried out their careers in ‘departments.’” Smith teases out the significance of that observation, as he seeks to help us rethink what philosophy is and what it means to "philosophize." Robert Minto assesses Smith's effort.

A Fight for the Soul of Science

Natalie Wolchover Quanta
String theory, the multiverse and other ideas of modern physics are potentially untestable. At a historic meeting in Munich, scientists and philosophers asked: should we trust them anyway?

books

Walter Benjamin, the First Pop Philosopher

Ray Monk The New Statesman
Walter Benjamin found his calling after accepting he would never get a job as an academic, so he junked hitherto unfathomable reflections on language to cover contemporary culture, with an emphasis on its more popular forms, for newspapers and general publishers. His radio broadcasts, many aimed at children, show writing that is engaging, vivid and, above all, understandable. Conclusion: the best thing that ever happened to the man was his failure to land a lectureship

books

Back in Black: The Coming Cat-Scratch Repeat Over Martin Heidegger

Scott McLemee Inside Higher Education
Scott McLemee predicts another round of slamming/defending Nazi-tool philosopher Martin Heidegger with the forthcoming English publication of his The Black Notebooks...l'affaire Heidegger has been recycled on at least three or four occasions. It's as if the shock of the scandal was so great that it induced amnesia each time. Trashing Heidegger distracts us from our own appalling national stupidities and our galling national avarice -- our own little darkenings.

The Banality of Systemic Evil

Peter Ludlow The New York Times Opinionator
Has the younger generation lost its moral compass? No. In my view, just the opposite. Clearly, there is a moral principle at work in the actions of the leakers, whistle-blowers and hacktivists and those who support them. I would also argue that that moral principle has been clearly articulated, and it may just save us from a dystopian future.
Subscribe to Philosophy