Doubt: A History: The Great Doubters and Their Legacy of Innovation from Socrates and Jesus to Thomas Jefferson and Emily Dickinson
ISBN: 0060097957
EAN13: 9780060097950
Language: English
Pages: 551
Dimensions: 1.00" H x 9.00" L x 6.00" W
Weight: 1.00 lbs.
Format: Paperback
Book Overview
In the compelling book Doubt, a brilliant young writer and historian of ideas shows how the dialectic between faith and doubt, belief and radical questioning, religion on the one hand and philosophy and science on the other has been the driving force in intellectual and religious history. Jennifer Hecht champions doubt and questioning as one of the great and noble, if unheralded, intellectual traditions. This is an account of the world's great intellectual virtuosos, who are also humanity's greatest doubters and disbelievers, and their attempts to reconcile the seeming randomness of the universe with the human need for meaning, This remarkable book touches on a wealth of knowledge. Early Greek philosophy is represented, along with Eastern critical wisdom, Roman Stoicism, Jewish and Christian skeptics, medieval Islam, the rise of science, and the existantialists. Just as belief has its own history featuring people whose unique expressions of faith have forever changed the world, doubt has a vibrant story and tradition with its own saints, martyrs, and sages. Jennifer Michael Hecht is the author of award-winning books of philosophy, history, and poetry. Hecht's The End of the Soul: Scientific Modernity, Atheism and Anthropology (Columbia University, 2003), won the Phi Beta Kappa Society's 2004 prestigious Ralph Waldo Emerson Award. Hecht's first poetry book, The Next Ancient World won the Poetry Society of America's 2002 Norma Farber First Book Award. Her most recent poetry book, Funny, won the University of Wisconsin's 2005 Felix Pollak Poetry Prize, and Publisher's Weekly called it one of the most original and entertaining books of the year.