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Doubt : a history : the great doubters and their legacy of innovation, from Socrates and Jesus to Thomas Jefferson and Emily Dickinson

Author: Jennifer Michael Hecht
Publisher: New York : HarperOne, 2004. ©2003.
Edition/Format:   Print book : English : First HarperCollins paperback editionView all editions and formats
Summary:
In the tradition of grand sweeping histories such as From Dawn To Decadence, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, and A History of God, Hecht champions doubt and questioning as one of the great and noble, if unheralded, intellectual traditions that distinguish the Western mind especially-from Socrates to Galileo and Darwin to Wittgenstein and Hawking. This is an account of the world's greatest ‘intellectual  Read more...
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Genre/Form: History
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Jennifer Michael Hecht
ISBN: 9780060097950 0060097957
OCLC Number: 864499115
Notes: Reprint. Originally published: 2003.
Awards: Winner of Book of the Year (Top 10) 2004
Description: xxi, 551 pages ; 23 cm
Contents: Doubt is no shadow: a quiz and a guide to the question --
Whatever happened to Zeus and Hera?, 600 BCE-1 CE: Greek doubt --
Smacking the temple, 600 BCE-1 CE: doubt and the ancient Jews --
What the Buddha saw, 600 BCE-1 CE: ancient doubt in Asia --
When in Rome in doubt, 50 BCE-1 CE: empire of reason --
Christian doubt, Zen, Elisha, and Hypatia, 1-800 CE: late-classical mix --
Medieval doubt loops-the-loop, 800-1400: Muslims to Jews to Christians --
The printing press and the Age of Martyrs, 1400-1600: Renaissance and Inquisition --
Sunspots and White House doubters, 1600-1800: revolutions in the authority of reason --
Doubt's bid for a better world, 1800-1900: freethinking in the age of science and reform --
Principles of uncertainty, 1900-: the new cosmopolitan --
The joy of doubt: ethics, logic, mood.
Responsibility: Jennifer Michael Hecht.

Abstract:

In the tradition of grand sweeping histories such as From Dawn To Decadence, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, and A History of God, Hecht champions doubt and questioning as one of the great and noble, if unheralded, intellectual traditions that distinguish the Western mind especially-from Socrates to Galileo and Darwin to Wittgenstein and Hawking. This is an account of the world's greatest ‘intellectual virtuosos,' who are also humanity's greatest doubters and disbelievers, from the ancient Greek philosophers, Jesus, and the Eastern religions, to modern secular equivalents Marx, Freud and Darwin—and their attempts to reconcile the seeming meaninglessness of the universe with the human need for meaning. This remarkable book ranges from the early Greeks, Hebrew figures such as Job and Ecclesiastes, Eastern critical wisdom, Roman stoicism, Jesus as a man of doubt, Gnosticism and Christian mystics, medieval Islamic, Jewish and Christian skeptics, secularism, the rise of science, modern and contemporary critical thinkers such as Schopenhauer, Darwin, Marx, Freud, Nietzsche, the existentialists.

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