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A Secular Absolute

How Modern Philosophy Discovered Authenticity

Authors: Steinvorth, Ulrich

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  • Discusses the pros and cons of philosophical claims on absolutes
  • Analyzes the writings of modern philosophers who claim that there is an absolute norm
  • Draws upon the rich pool of philosophical ideas to clarify urgent contemporary questions
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eBook $69.99
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-030-35036-9
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: EPUB, PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $89.99
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-3-030-35035-2
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
About this book

Premodern societies believed in something sacred that obliged unconditionally. Modern societies rely on fallible science. Do they also need something absolute, a secular sacred? Steinvorth analyzes the writings of modern philosophers who claim that there is an absolute norm: the norm to be rational and authentic. In his view, their claim is true if it is reinterpreted. The norm is not moral, as it was thought to be, but metaphysical, and authenticity is not self-realization, but doing things for their own sake. 

In discussing the pros and cons of philosophical claims on absolutes, this book spreads out the rich pool of philosophical ideas and clarifies urgent contemporary questions about what can be demanded with universal validity. It argues this is not only the principle of justice, not to harm, but also a metaphysical principle by which to find meaning in life. Moreover, it points to some consequences this principle has in politics.


About the authors

Ulrich Steinvorth is Professor Emeritus at the University of Hamburg, Germany.   

Reviews

“I have long argued in favor of philosophical work that is informed by modern cognitive science. Steinvorth’s use of dual-process theory to leverage his argument is just the type of scholarly development that I would like to encourage.”
Keith E. Stanovich, Emeritus Professor, University of Toronto, Canada

“Is modern thought characterized by a rejection of the sacred? On the contrary, in this fascinating work, Ulrich Steinvorth shows that many leading modern philosophers have elevated a norm of authenticity to an absolute principle. Further, he provides a strong argument this is not a mistake. Perhaps reflecting on the nature of value and choice reveals our practical rationality does indeed presuppose the existence of absolute, transcendental values.”
Jason Brannon, Robert J. and Elizabeth Flanagan Family Professor of Strategy, Economics, Ethics, and Public Policy at the McDonough School of Business, Georgetown University, USA

Table of contents (5 chapters)

Table of contents (5 chapters)

Buy this book

eBook $69.99
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-030-35036-9
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: EPUB, PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $89.99
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-3-030-35035-2
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.

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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
A Secular Absolute
Book Subtitle
How Modern Philosophy Discovered Authenticity
Authors
Copyright
2020
Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan
Copyright Holder
The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG
eBook ISBN
978-3-030-35036-9
DOI
10.1007/978-3-030-35036-9
Hardcover ISBN
978-3-030-35035-2
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XVI, 278
Topics