Some orders may be delayed by the current Coronavirus lockdown.
Visit our help page for further information.
The Contract of Mutual Indifference: Political Philosophy After the Holocaust (Paperback)
  • The Contract of Mutual Indifference: Political Philosophy After the Holocaust (Paperback)
zoom

The Contract of Mutual Indifference: Political Philosophy After the Holocaust (Paperback)

(author), (author of introduction)
£12.99
Paperback 248 Pages / Published: 10/07/2020
  • Coming soon

Awaiting publication

  • This item has been added to your basket
'The idea which I shall present here came to me more or less out of the blue. I was on a train some fives years ago, on my way to spend a day at Headingley, and I was reading a book about the death camp Sobibor... The particular, not very appropriate, conjunction involved for me in this train journey... had the effect of fixing my thoughts on one of the more dreadful features of human coexistence, when in the shape of a simple five-word phrase the idea occurred to me.' The contract of mutual indifference. In this book Norman Geras discusses a central aspect of the experience of the Holocaust with a view to exploring its most important contemporary implications. In a bold and powerful synthesis of memorial, literary record, historical reflection and political theory, he focuses on the figure of the bystander - the bystander to the destruction of the Jews of Europe and the bystander to more recent atrocity - to consider the moral consequences of looking on without active responses at persecution and great suffering. Geras argues that the tragedy of European Jewry. so widely pondered by historians, social scientists, psychologists, theologians and others, has not yet found its proper reflection within political philosophy. Attempting to fill the gap, he adapts an old idea from within that tradition of enquiry, the idea of the social contract, to the task of thinking about the triangular relation between perpetrators, victims and bystanders, and draws on sombre conclusion from it. Geras goes on to ask how far this conclusion may be offset by the hypothesis of a universal duty to bring aid. The contract of mutual indifference is an original and challenging work, aimed at the complacent abstraction of much contemporary theory-building. It is supplemented by three shorter essays on the implications of the Jewish catastrophe for conceptions of human nature and progress and for certain types of Marxist explanation.

Publisher: Manchester University Press
ISBN: 9781526104755
Number of pages: 248
Dimensions: 198 x 129 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
'In his passionate and lucid argument about political theory after the Holocaust, Geras explains his baleful titular concept: if you are unwilling to help others in their need, you cannot expect others to do the same for you. Therefore any political philosophy which neglects the primacy of human duty to bring aid is short-sighted and shameful.' - The Guardian 'Some devote considerable time and money to combating moral catastrophes, but most of us hardly do more than lift a finger. Our behaviour is the subject of Norman Geras's thought-provoking new book. ... Geras identifies a major gap in contemporary political philosophy.' -- Times Literary Supplement 'The skill of Geras's approach is to point to the wider implications of the Holocaust, while refusing to offer easy answers to the intractable questions it raises.' -- New Statesman 'In a brilliant exposition, Norman Geras argues convincingly that indifference to suffering is the norm in human society. This profoundly disturbing study is a bleak commentary both on "bystandaers" to the Holocaust and on our own moral emptiness.' -- Ian Kershaw, University of Sheffield 'A remarkable book written with passion, compassion, and a genuine belief in the possibility of a better future. He is right to prompt us into proper consideration of what has previously been ignored.' -- Imprints 'An impassioned plea to the reader to "consider that thishas been" - the Holocaust. Geras's own thoughtful consideration shed new light on gaps and assumptions in moral and political philosophy, and asks us to revise, but not give up, hope in progress.' -- Diemut Bubeck, LSE -- .

You may also be interested in...

Imagine A Country
Added to basket
£12.00
Hardback
Meditations
Added to basket
£7.99
Paperback
The Tipping Point
Added to basket
Silence
Added to basket
£8.99
Paperback
Happy
Added to basket
£9.99
Paperback
12 Rules for Life
Added to basket
£10.99   £7.49
Paperback
Morality
Added to basket
£20.00   £17.99
Hardback
Utopia for Realists
Added to basket
The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse
Added to basket
How the World Thinks
Added to basket
£9.99   £7.99
Paperback
Rebel Ideas
Added to basket
£9.99   £7.99
Paperback
A Little History of Philosophy
Added to basket
The Order of Time
Added to basket
£8.99
Paperback
Outgrowing God
Added to basket
£14.99
Hardback

Please sign in to write a review

Your review has been submitted successfully.