On "Nineteen Eighty-Four": Orwell and Our Future

Princeton University Press
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George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four is among the most widely read books in the world. For more than 50 years, it has been regarded as a morality tale for the possible future of modern society, a future involving nothing less than extinction of humanity itself. Does Nineteen Eighty-Four remain relevant in our new century? The editors of this book assembled a distinguished group of philosophers, literary specialists, political commentators, historians, and lawyers and asked them to take a wide-ranging and uninhibited look at that question. The editors deliberately avoided Orwell scholars in an effort to call forth a fresh and diverse range of responses to the major work of one of the most durable literary figures among twentieth-century English writers.

As Nineteen Eighty-Four protagonist Winston Smith has admirers on the right, in the center, and on the left, the contributors similarly represent a wide range of political, literary, and moral viewpoints. The Cold War that has so often been linked to Orwell's novel ended with more of a whimper than a bang, but most of the issues of concern to him remain alive in some form today: censorship, scientific surveillance, power worship, the autonomy of art, the meaning of democracy, relations between men and women, and many others. The contributors bring a variety of insightful and contemporary perspectives to bear on these questions.

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About the author

Abbott Gleason is Barnaby Conrad & Mary Critchfield Keeney Professor of History at Brown University. He is the author of Totalitarianism: The Inner History of the Cold War. Jack Goldsmith is Professor of Law at Harvard University. He is the author, with Eric Posner, of The Limits of International Law. Martha C. Nussbaum is the Ernst Freund Distinguished Service Professor of Law and Ethics in the Philosophy Department, Law School, and Divinity School at the University of Chicago. Her books include Upheavals of Thought: The Intelligence of Emotions (Cambridge) and Hiding from Humanity (Princeton).
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Publisher
Princeton University Press
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Published on
Jul 28, 2010
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Pages
328
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ISBN
9781400826643
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Language
English
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Genres
Literary Criticism / European / English, Irish, Scottish, Welsh
Literary Criticism / General
Political Science / Essays
Political Science / History & Theory
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This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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Anger is not just ubiquitous, it is also popular. Many people think it is impossible to care sufficiently for justice without anger at injustice. Many believe that it is impossible for individuals to vindicate their own self-respect or to move beyond an injury without anger. To not feel anger in those cases would be considered suspect. Is this how we should think about anger, or is anger above all a disease, deforming both the personal and the political? In this wide-ranging book, Martha C. Nussbaum, one of our leading public intellectuals, argues that anger is conceptually confused and normatively pernicious. It assumes that the suffering of the wrongdoer restores the thing that was damaged, and it betrays an all-too-lively interest in relative status and humiliation. Studying anger in intimate relationships, casual daily interactions, the workplace, the criminal justice system, and movements for social transformation, Nussbaum shows that anger's core ideas are both infantile and harmful. Is forgiveness the best way of transcending anger? Nussbaum examines different conceptions of this much-sentimentalized notion, both in the Jewish and Christian traditions and in secular morality. Some forms of forgiveness are ethically promising, she claims, but others are subtle allies of retribution: those that exact a performance of contrition and abasement as a condition of waiving angry feelings. In general, she argues, a spirit of generosity (combined, in some cases, with a reliance on impartial welfare-oriented legal institutions) is the best way to respond to injury. Applied to the personal and the political realms, Nussbaum's profoundly insightful and erudite view of anger and forgiveness puts both in a startling new light.
Anger is not just ubiquitous, it is also popular. Many people think it is impossible to care sufficiently for justice without anger at injustice. Many believe that it is impossible for individuals to vindicate their own self-respect or to move beyond an injury without anger. To not feel anger in those cases would be considered suspect. Is this how we should think about anger, or is anger above all a disease, deforming both the personal and the political? In this wide-ranging book, Martha C. Nussbaum, one of our leading public intellectuals, argues that anger is conceptually confused and normatively pernicious. It assumes that the suffering of the wrongdoer restores the thing that was damaged, and it betrays an all-too-lively interest in relative status and humiliation. Studying anger in intimate relationships, casual daily interactions, the workplace, the criminal justice system, and movements for social transformation, Nussbaum shows that anger's core ideas are both infantile and harmful. Is forgiveness the best way of transcending anger? Nussbaum examines different conceptions of this much-sentimentalized notion, both in the Jewish and Christian traditions and in secular morality. Some forms of forgiveness are ethically promising, she claims, but others are subtle allies of retribution: those that exact a performance of contrition and abasement as a condition of waiving angry feelings. In general, she argues, a spirit of generosity (combined, in some cases, with a reliance on impartial welfare-oriented legal institutions) is the best way to respond to injury. Applied to the personal and the political realms, Nussbaum's profoundly insightful and erudite view of anger and forgiveness puts both in a startling new light.
From America’s preeminent columnist, named by the Financial Times the most influential commentator in the nation, the long-awaited collection of Charles Krauthammer’s essential, timeless writings.
 
A brilliant stylist known for an uncompromising honesty that challenges conventional wisdom at every turn, Krauthammer has for decades daz­zled readers with his keen insight into politics and government. His weekly column is a must-read in Washington and across the country. Now, finally, the best of Krauthammer’s intelligence, erudition and wit are collected in one volume.
 
Readers will find here not only the country’s leading conservative thinker offering a pas­sionate defense of limited government, but also a highly independent mind whose views—on feminism, evolution and the death penalty, for example—defy ideological convention. Things That Matter also features several of Krautham­mer’s major path-breaking essays—on bioeth­ics, on Jewish destiny and on America’s role as the world’s superpower—that have pro­foundly influenced the nation’s thoughts and policies. And finally, the collection presents a trove of always penetrating, often bemused re­flections on everything from border collies to Halley’s Comet, from Woody Allen to Win­ston Churchill, from the punishing pleasures of speed chess to the elegance of the perfectly thrown outfield assist.
 
With a special, highly autobiographical in­troduction in which Krauthammer reflects on the events that shaped his career and political philosophy, this indispensible chronicle takes the reader on a fascinating journey through the fashions and follies, the tragedies and triumphs, of the last three decades of American life.
Torture has lately become front page news, featured in popular movies and TV shows, and a topic of intense public debate. It grips our imagination, in part because torturing someone seems to be an unthinkable breach of humanity—theirs and ours. And yet, when confronted with horrendous events in war, or the prospect of catastrophic damage to one’s own country, many come to wonder whether we can really afford to abstain entirely from torture. Before trying to tackle this dilemma, though, we need to see torture as a multifaceted problem with a long history and numerous ethical and legal aspects.

Confronting Torture offers a multidisciplinary investigation of this wrenching topic. Editors Scott A. Anderson and Martha C. Nussbaum bring together a diversity of scholars to grapple with many of torture’s complexities, including: How should we understand the impetus to use torture? Why does torture stand out as a particularly heinous means of war-fighting? Are there any sound justifications for the use of torture? How does torture affect the societies that employ it? And how can we develop ethical or political bulwarks to prevent its use? The essays here resist the temptation to oversimplify torture, drawing together work from scholars in psychology, history, sociology, law, and philosophy, deepening and broadening our grasp of the subject. Now, more than ever, torture is something we must think about; this important book offers a diversity of timely, constructive responses on this resurgent and controversial subject.
For more than six decades, the term "totalitarian" was applied to everything from Franco's Spain to Stalin's Soviet Union. One of the most enigmatic and yet compelling ideas of our time, it has been both an almost meaningless political catcall and an indispensable concept for understanding the dictatorships that have marred the history of this century. Now historian Abbott Gleason provides a fascinating account of the life of this idea. Totalitarianism offers a penetrating chronicle of the central concept of our era--an era shaped by our conflict first with fascism and then with communism. Interweaving the story of intellectual debates with the international history of the twentieth century, Gleason traces the birth of the term to Italy in the first years of Mussolini's rule. Created by Mussolini's enemies, the word was appropriated by the Fascists themselves to describe their program in what turned out to be one of the less totalitarian of the European dictatorships. He follows the growth and expansion of the concept as it was picked up in the West and applied to Hitler's Germany and the Soviet Union. Gleason's account takes us through the debates of the early postwar years, as academics in turn adopted the term--notably Hannah Arendt. The idea of totalitarianism came to possess novelists such as Arthur Koestler (Darkness at Noon) and George Orwell (whose Nineteen Eighty-Four was interpreted by conservatives as an attack on socialism in general, and subsequently suffered criticism from left-leaning critics). The concept fully entered the public consciousness with the opening of the Cold War, as Truman used the rhetoric of totalitarianism to sell the Truman Doctrine to Congress. Gleason takes a fascinating look at the notorious brainwashing episodes of the Korean War, which convinced Americans that Communist China too was a totalitarian state. As he takes his account through to the 1990s, he offers an inner history of the Cold War, revealing the political charge the term carried for writers on both the left and right. He also explores the intellectual struggles that swirled around the idea in France, Germany, Italy, Czechoslovakia, and Poland. When the Cold War drew to a close in the late 1980s, Gleason writes, the concept lost much of its importance in the West even as it flourished in Russia, where writers began to describe their own collapsing state as totalitarian--though left-wing Western thinkers had long resisted doing so. Abbott Gleason is a leading scholar of Soviet and Russian history and a contributor to periodicals ranging from The Russian Review to The Atlantic Monthly. In this stimulating intellectual history, he offers a revealing look at one of the central concepts of modern times.
Is the Internet erasing national borders? Will the future of the Net be set by Internet engineers, rogue programmers, the United Nations, or powerful countries? Who's really in control of what's happening on the Net? In this provocative new book, Jack Goldsmith and Tim Wu tell the fascinating story of the Internet's challenge to governmental rule in the 1990s, and the ensuing battles with governments around the world. It's a book about the fate of one idea--that the Internet might liberate us forever from government, borders, and even our physical selves. We learn of Google's struggles with the French government and Yahoo's capitulation to the Chinese regime; of how the European Union sets privacy standards on the Net for the entire world; and of eBay's struggles with fraud and how it slowly learned to trust the FBI. In a decade of events the original vision is uprooted, as governments time and time again assert their power to direct the future of the Internet. The destiny of the Internet over the next decades, argue Goldsmith and Wu, will reflect the interests of powerful nations and the conflicts within and between them. While acknowledging the many attractions of the earliest visions of the Internet, the authors describe the new order, and speaking to both its surprising virtues and unavoidable vices. Far from destroying the Internet, the experience of the last decade has lead to a quiet rediscovery of some of the oldest functions and justifications for territorial government. While territorial governments have unavoidable problems, it has proven hard to replace what legitimacy governments have, and harder yet to replace the system of rule of law that controls the unchecked evils of anarchy. While the Net will change some of the ways that territorial states govern, it will not diminish the oldest and most fundamental roles of government and challenges of governance. Well written and filled with fascinating examples, including colorful portraits of many key players in Internet history, this is a work that is bound to stir heated debate in the cyberspace community.
政治正義讓個人與公共的道德情感持續轉變,

法律思考不能自外於社會價值與個人情感。


納思邦教授以精彩論述將情感、法律、政治揉而為一,旁徵博引文學、宗教、哲學、倫理各方文獻,綴以詩歌、神話、經典,爬梳了影響現代法律形成的「憤怒」、「寬恕」等情感價值的歷史根源及脈絡,並探究它們與正義的關係。


書中首先剖析「憤怒」何來及其在許多領域的應用,包括人際關係、職場、刑罰體系,論述憤怒與經常隨之而來的報復心態在規範與道德上的錯誤。接著探究宗教與文化意義下的「寬恕」,主張以超越寬恕的「慷慨」作為追尋正義與立法之依據。

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本書一開始便以古希臘知名悲劇作家艾斯奇勒斯的三部曲《奧瑞斯提亞》(Orestia)概括了核心論點。在該劇的最終,雅典娜通過建立法院、法官和陪審團,結束了血腥的復仇循環。理性制定的法律取代了古老的復仇女神,但憤怒和報復沒有被放下,只是被改造了。


納思邦透過神話故事闡釋了在規範層面上,「憤怒」如何「總是成問題的」。憤怒預設了兩個觀念:一,在重要的人或事上,犯下了嚴重的錯誤;二,如果犯錯者以某種方式吃到一些惡果,那會是件好事。而為憤怒辯護的方式通常有三種。首先,憤怒對尊嚴和自尊來說是必要的,沒有它,溫順的人會被壓制和羞辱。其次,如果不對犯錯者發怒,就不是認真對待他們。第三,憤怒是對抗不義的動力。


然而,納思邦拒絕這三種主張。在政治領域中,她以甘地、馬丁路德金恩和曼德拉為例,證明在不訴諸憤怒行動的情況下,也可以擁有力量、尊嚴和反抗不義。


那麼寬恕呢?在納思邦看來,寬恕不見得謙順溫和。相反的,寬恕與憤怒有著內在的聯繫。寬恕的「道路」始於人們對於他人所造成的傷害感到極度憤怒。然後透過某種包含面對、認錯、道歉與「處理」在內的程序,受傷害的人以勝利之姿崛起,消除憤怒的情緒,他的主張獲得理解而願意施予不憤怒的恩惠。納思邦稱之為「交易式寬恕」。 


納思邦主張,我們應該向前看,而不是停下來赦免罪過,就好像傷害過我們的人在請求我們的赦免。她以南非的真相與和解委員會為例,那是一種寬恕的建設性替代方案,人們只被要求承認自己做過些什麼,摒棄了「貶抑、懺悔、悔罪和寬恕的機構」。


【名家推薦】


★納思邦以其一貫優雅、精準、熱情的風格與極寬廣的研究,探索正義底下兩股看似對立的情緒︰憤怒與寬恕。她認為它們都帶有報復意味,從而都是有問題的。她主張超脫這兩種情緒,當個「部分斯多噶、部分愛的造物的人」。這本書提出一個重要且及時的挑戰,是值得對哲學、心理學、政治學、宗教感興趣,或者只是想瞭解如何在今日世界生活的讀者一讀的佳作。

——美國堪薩斯大學榮譽心理學教授C. Daniel Batson


★充滿哲學與社會科學界前所未有的洞見,包括在憤怒與寬恕、暴力與非暴力的脈絡下,對甘地、金恩博士與曼德拉做了概念上的比較。納思邦向來是聲譽卓著的學者,持續展現多元才華,以當代政治分析見長。她揭示了這些群眾運動的領袖如何診斷恐懼中的憤怒與暴力根源,並以寬恕為解藥。而後她進一步將這些重要理念擴展到新方向。這種獨特的理論使她的作品成為欲瞭解今日政治與社會的人所必讀。

——美國哥倫比亞大學榮譽政治學教授Dennis Dalton 


★本書迫使人權運動者思考自己的行動,辨別報復性想法及處理犯罪與懲罰的理性方法,以及探討正義理論時不應受到貶低及報復心態所影響。「轉化的憤怒」植根於公益與社會福祉,納思邦展現其改革的潛力。在政治學上,那是壓迫體制與進步體制的差異所在。納思邦援引歷史上曾經改變加害與被害關係的重要事件,說明憤怒對社會公益的有限角色。」

——印度最高法院大律師Indira Jaising 


★這部讓人驚豔的著作揭示了像是南非這類地方的政治思想與實踐,在這樣的地方憤怒通常被認為是沒有效用的,而寬恕則是代代傳承的人性中必要的成分。藉著連結古希臘人的思想與金恩博士、曼德拉與甘地這類當代社會運動者,納思邦創造了人類互動往來的新基礎,在這項基礎上憤怒可以重新定義為一種資源,而寬恕則從報復的邏輯中獲得釋放。

——南非自由邦大學副校長Jonathan D. Jansen


★我很訝異也很高興。一位自成一格中上階級的白種盎格魯薩克遜新教徒美國人以古希臘羅馬的文獻與當代哲學,提出比其他多數歷史學者與政治學者更好的解釋,說明何以在南非我們能將種族隔離的利劍轉化為憲政民主之犁刀。做得好,納思邦,報復不是我們要走的路。

——南非自由鬥士、作家與憲法法院大法官Albie Sachs 




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