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Misanthropy : the critique of humanity

Author: Andrew Gibson
Publisher: London ; New York : Bloomsbury Academic, 2017.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
"This book is the first major study of the theme of misanthropy, its history, arguments both for and against it, and its significance for us today. Misanthropy is not strictly a philosophy. It is an inconsistent thought, and so has often been mocked. But from Timon of Athens to Motörhead it has had a very long life, vast historical purchase and is seemingly indomitable and unignorable. Human beings have always
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Additional Physical Format: Online version:
Gibson, Andrew, 1949-
Misanthropy.
New York : Bloomsbury Academic, 2017
(DLC) 2017037962
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Andrew Gibson
ISBN: 9781474293167 1474293166 9781474293174 1474293174
OCLC Number: 1000297933
Description: ix, 278 pages ; 23 cm
Contents: Introduction: The imposibility of misanthropy --
1. Misanthropy and the old order --
2. Misanthropists and the body --
3. Misanthropy and history: A few philosophers --
4. The Irish misanthropic tradition --
5. Women, modernity and misanthropy --
6. Misanthropy and the new world --
Conclusion: Contemporary culture and the end(s) of misanthropy.
Responsibility: Andrew Gibson.

Abstract:

"This book is the first major study of the theme of misanthropy, its history, arguments both for and against it, and its significance for us today. Misanthropy is not strictly a philosophy. It is an inconsistent thought, and so has often been mocked. But from Timon of Athens to Motörhead it has had a very long life, vast historical purchase and is seemingly indomitable and unignorable. Human beings have always nursed a profound distrust of who and what they are. This book does not seek to rationalize that distrust, but asks how far misanthropy might have a reason on its side, if a confused reason.

There are obvious arguments against misanthropy. It is often born of a hatred of physical being. It can be historically explained. It particularly appears in undemocratic cultures. But what of the misanthropy of terminally defeated and disempowered peoples? Or born of progressivisms? Or the misanthropy that quarrels with specious or easy positivities (from Pelagius to Leibniz to the corporate cheer of contemporary `total capital`)? From the Greek Cynics to Roman satire, St Augustine to Jacobean drama, the misanthropy of the French Ancien Regime to Swift, Smollett and Johnson, Hobbes, Schopenhauer and Rousseau, from the Irish and American misanthropic traditions to modern women`s misanthropy, the book explores such questions. It ends with a debate about contemporary culture that ranges from the `dark radicalisms`, queer misanthropy, posthumanism and eco-misanthropy to Houellebecq, punk rock and gangsta rap."--pub. desc.

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Gibson offers readers an enriching, insightful discussion of topic to which few have dedicated such energy. In the end, he does not offer his own conclusion but fittingly leaves it up to readers. * Read more...

 
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