A Common Humanity: Thinking about Love and Truth and Justice

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Psychology Press, 1999 - Philosophy - 293 pages
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The Holocaust and attempts to deny it, racism, murder, the case of Mary Bell. How can we include these and countless other examples of evil within our vision of a common humanity? These painful human incongruities are precisely what Raimond Gaita boldly harmonizes in his powerful new book, A Common Humanity.
Hatred with forgiveness, evil with love, suffering with compassion, and the mundane with the precious. Gaita asserts that our conception of humanity cannot be based upon the empty language of individual rights when it is our shared feelings of grief, hope, love, guilt, shame and remorse that offer a more potent foundation for common understanding. Drawing on the work of Hannah Arendt, Simon Weil, Primo Levi, George Orwell, Iris Murdoch and Sigmund Freud, Gaita creates a beautifully written and provocative new picture of our common humanity.
  

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Winner of the Victoria Prize for Literature for Good and Evil: An Absolute Conception, Gaita (philosophy, Kings Coll., UK) argues that much contemporary moral philosophy is misguided. Both utilitarian ... Read full review

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Contents

Take Your Time
1
Goodness beyond Virtue
17
Evil beyond Vice
29
The Denial of a Common Humanity
57
Mabo Social Justice
73
Guilt Shame Community
87
Genocide The Stolen Generations
107
Genocide The Holocaust
131
Forms of the Unthinkable
157
Truth the Responsibility of Intellectuals
187
Goodness Truth
215
Truth As a Need of the Soul
237
A Common Humanity
259
Select Bibliography
286
Index
290
Copyright

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About the author (1999)

Raimond Gaita is professor of moral philosophy at King's College, University of London and foundation professor of philosophy at the Australian Catholic University. In 2007, his award-winning memoir Romulus, My Father was turned into a feature film starring Eric Bana and Franka Potente. His other books include Good and Evil: An Absolute Conception, A Common Humanity, The Philosopher's Dog and Why the War Was Wrong (as editor and contributor).

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