The Reasoning of Unreason

Universalism, Capitalism and Disenlightenment

The Reasoning of Unreason

The twenty-first century so far has seen the global rise of authoritarian populism, systematic racism, and dogmatic metaphysics. Les mer
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The Reasoning of Unreason

The twenty-first century so far has seen the global rise of authoritarian populism, systematic racism, and dogmatic metaphysics. Even though these events demonstrate the growth of an age of 'unreason', in this original and compelling book John Roberts resists the assumption that such thinking displays an unthinking irrationality or loss of reason; instead he asserts that an important feature of modern reactionary politics is that it offers a supposedly convincing integration of the particular and the universal. This move is defined by what Roberts calls the 'reasoning of unreason' and has deep roots in the history of Western thought and politics.

Tracing the dark history of enlightenment-disenlightenment, John Roberts explores 'the reasoning of unreason' across centuries from Aquinas, William of Ockham, the most important treatise on witchcraft Malleus Maleficarum, Locke, Kant, and Count Arthur de Gobineau, to Social Darwinism, Nazism, Carl Schmitt, Leo Strauss, and Friedrich von Hayek. Roberts provides a new set of philosophical-political tools to understand the formation and denigration of the rational subject and the current reinvestment in various forms of political unreason globally.

The Reasoning of Unreason is the first book to draw on the philosophy of reason, political philosophy, political theory and political history, in order to produce a dialectical account of the 'making of reason' internal to the forces of unreason and the limits of reason.

Acknowledgements
Introduction
1) Hereticism, faith and the antinomies of reason
2) Writing enlightenment-disenlightenment in the 16th and 17th centuries
3) Bourgeois universalism in the age of Enlightenment and Nationalism
4) The reasoning of unreason as anti-philosophy: post-war capitalism, emancipatory universalism and radical particularism
Conclusion
Bibliography
Index

Proposes a new analysis of the current crisis of capitalism, emancipatory politics and universalism, ranging from the radical particularism of the 15th century through to Breivik's manifesto and contemporary political extremism.

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