Doubt by Jennifer Hecht
A History: The Great ers and Their Legacy of Innovation from Socrates and Jesus to Thomas Jefferson and Emily Dickinson

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Synopsis

In the tradition of grand sweeping histories such as From Dawn To Decadence, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, and A History of God, Hecht champions doubt and questioning as one of the great and noble, if unheralded, intellectual traditions that distinguish the Western mind especially-from Socrates to Galileo and Darwin to Wittgenstein and Hawking. This is an account of the world's greatest ‘intellectual virtuosos,' who are also humanity's greatest doubters and disbelievers, from the ancient Greek philosophers, Jesus, and the Eastern religions, to modern secular equivalents Marx, Freud and Darwin—and their attempts to reconcile the seeming meaninglessness of the universe with the human need for meaning,

This remarkable book ranges from the early Greeks, Hebrew figures such as Job and Ecclesiastes, Eastern critical wisdom, Roman stoicism, Jesus as a man of doubt, Gnosticism and Christian mystics, medieval Islamic, Jewish and Christian skeptics, secularism, the rise of science, modern and contemporary critical thinkers such as Schopenhauer, Darwin, Marx, Freud, Nietzsche, the existentialists.

 

About Jennifer Hecht

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Jennifer Michael Hecht is the author of "Doubt: A History" and two award-winning books of poetry, "The Next Ancient World" and "Funny," She is a contributor to "The New York Times" and "The Washington Post" and is a fellow of the New York Institute for the Humanities.
 
Published September 28, 2010 by HarperCollins e-books. 576 pages
Genres: History, Religion & Spirituality, Law & Philosophy. Non-fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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Hecht follows the thread of doubt and rationalism through the Renaissance, when Galileo and Montaigne began to question the wisdom of the Ancients, to the Enlightenment, when science and rationalism fought on equal terms with a new revival of faith.

Nov 01 2003 | Read Full Review of Doubt: A History: The Great D...

Publishers Weekly

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Hecht's exegesis traces doubt's meandering path from the fragments of pre-Socratics and early religious heretics in Asia, carefully elucidating the evolution of Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism, through the intermingling of Eastern and Western religious and philosophical thought in the Middle Ages ...

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Examiner

What you are trying to do is to convert such feelings and beliefs into external facts, facts that are external to and independent of ourselves, in this case the fact that god exists, without valid evidence and by substituting the irrelevant argument that it would be better if we believed this ext...

Jun 13 2014 | Read Full Review of Doubt: A History: The Great D...

Daily Kos

The manner in which a few people on this website - who do not in fact speak for all atheists - are doing it over the course of this particular week, is annoying and tiresome.

Sep 03 2014 | Read Full Review of Doubt: A History: The Great D...

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