The relationship between the Nazis’ rise to power in Germany and the broader European intellectual culture within which it took place has generated much passionate debate. George Steiner, for example, has famously suggested that the Nazi era may have been made possible by political, moral and religious ideas and attitudes – both traditional and distinctively modern – that one might rather have expected to justify principled opposition to a viciously nationalist, racist and ultimately genocidal ideology. In her sobering study, Yvonne Sherratt approaches this perplexing but fateful issue by focusing exclusively on the ways in which philosophers were caught up in this mid-20th-century catastrophe.
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'"Dutch Light" roots its subject in his local environment, explaining, for example, how an abundance of sand for making glass led naturally to a thriving business in optical instruments in Holland.'
Patricia Fara on the life & work of Christiaan Huygens.
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'We may not be able to shield ourselves from irrational passions such as hatred, anger, envy, mockery and pride, or from the buffetings of circumstance, but we can rise above them by obtaining insight into their nature and their causes.'