Cover image for The suicide of reason : radical Islam's threat to the enlightenment
The suicide of reason : radical Islam's threat to the enlightenment
Harris, Lee, 1948-
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Publication Information:
New York : Basic Books, [2007]

Physical Description:
xxi, 290 pages ; 25 cm
Whether by choice or not, the West finds itself in a low-grade yet bitter war with Islamic fanaticism--a war the West is ill equipped to fight. The foe is resistant to any of the normal methods of conflict resolution such as negotiation, economic sanctions, or conventional armed confrontation. This book shows how modern liberal societies, whose political theories are born of the Enlightenment, are unfamiliar with the nature of mass fanaticism. The West can only think of it as a social pathology, a failure to modernize, rather than as what it is: a variety of social order that is not only fully viable in the modern world but also willing to use weapons to which the West is uniquely vulnerable. A governing philosophy based on reason, tolerance, and consensus cannot defend itself against a strategy of ruthless violence without being radically transformed--or destroyed.--From publisher description.
General Note:
Includes index.
Fanaticism and the myth of modernity -- The denial of fanaticism -- Fanaticism and resentment -- The end of history? -- Clash or crash? -- The fanaticism of reason -- Demystifying reason -- Thomas Hobbes and the politics of reason -- Condorcet's tenth stage -- Reason and autonomy -- Liberal exceptionalism -- The logic of fanaticism -- The legacy and future of jihad -- Can carpe diem societies survive? -- Our new world disorder.
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