When the Great War broke out in August 1914, Thomas Mann, like so many people on both sides of the conflict, was exhilarated. Finally, the era of decadence that he had anatomized in Death in Venice had come to an end; finally, there was a cause worth fighting and even dying for, or, at least when it came to Mann himself, writing about.
From one of the country’s most admired political thinkers, an urgent wake-up call to American liberals to turn from the divisive politics of identity and develop a vision of our future that can persuade all citizens that they share a common destiny.
European history of the past century is full of examples of philosophers, writers, and scholars who supported or excused the worst tyrannies of the age. How was this possible? How could intellectuals whose work depends on freedom defend those who would deny it?
The wish to bring political life under God's authority is nothing new, and it's clear that today religious passions are again driving world politics, confounding expectations of a secular future. In this major book, Mark Lilla reveals the sources of this age-old quest-and its surprising role in shaping Western thought.
The Italian scholar Giovanni Battista Vico is viewed as the first modern philosopher of history, a judgement largely based on his obscure 1744 masterpiece, "New Science". In this study Mark Lilla complicates this picture by presenting Vico as one of the most troubling of anti-modern thinkers.
In the fall of 1998, one year after the death of Isaiah Berlin, the New York Institute for the Humanities organized a conference to consider his intellectual legacy. The scholars who participated devoted much of their attention to the question of pluralism, which for Berlin was central to liberal values. His belief in pluralism was at the core of his philosophical writings as well as his studies of contemporary politics and the history of ideas.
This anthology brings into English for the first time essays by some of the best young French political thinkers writing today, including Marcel Gauchet, Pierre Manent, Luc Ferry, and Alain Renaut. The central theme of these essays is liberal democracy: its nature, its development, its problems, its fundamental legitimacy.