Philosophical Reflections on a Dark TimeEdited by Alan Rosenberg, and Gerald E Myers
The murder of six million Jewish men, women, and children during World War II was an act of such barbarity as to constitute one of the central events of our time; yet a list of the major concerns of professional philosophers since 1945 would exclude the Holocaust. This collection of twenty-three essays, most of which were written expressly for this volume, is the first book to focus comprehensively on the profound issues and philosophical significance of the Holocaust.
The essays, written for general as well as professional readers, convey an extraordinary range of factual information and philosophical reflection in seeking to identify the haunting meanings of the Holocaust. Among the questions addressed are: How should philosophy approach the Holocaust? What part did the philosophical climate play in allowing Hitlerism its temporary triumph? What is the philosophical climate today and what are its probable cultural effects? Can philosophy help our culture to become a bulwark against future agents of evil? The multiple dimensions of the Holocausthistorical, sociological, psychological, religious, moral, and literaryare collected here for concentrated philosophical interpretations.
"The Nazis tried to exterminate a community famed for rational reflection. Here 23 authors reflect on that event, with an outcome that is chilling but also stirring for those who think that the greatest of human achievements is the ability to stay rational. Everyone who cares about humanity should read some of these essays."
"This is a profound and eloquent collection. The essays, both individually and cumulatively, provide impressive, penetrating insights that are of very great help in the continuing and mandatory task of coming to intellectual and emotional grips with the unspeakable tragedy of the Holocaust."
—Alan Gewirtb, University of Chicago
"A wonderfully informative and also a very moving book, which helps one to understand much better than before the appalling events whose causes it probes. Anyone interested in human beings should read it. For moral philosophers it is a ‘must.’"
—Philippa Foot, UCLA
"This is a book to jolt our consciences and stir our minds. This volume provides us with a unique opportunity to share the carefully reasoned insights and thought-provoking reflections of scholars from a wide variety of disciplines, but with professional philosophers for once strongly represented."
—Joel Colton, Duke University