Advertisement

Daring to Be Grateful: Robert C. Solomon on Gratitude in the Face of Fanaticism

  • Markus Weidler
Chapter
Part of the Sophia Studies in Cross-cultural Philosophy of Traditions and Cultures book series (SCPT, volume 1)

Abstract

Because I am tracking some of Robert C. Solomon’s most provocative claims about the importance of cultivating our ability to give thanks, the focus of my discussion is on the philosophically complex relation among comportments of gratitude over against certain gestures of fanaticism. On Solomon’s view, the phenomenon of fanaticism emerges as socially and culturally more pervasive than is commonly assumed. To see why this is the case, I offer a detailed critical exposition of Solomon’s analysis of death fetishism, which is featured as the main impulse behind fanatical tendencies and the spiritual destruction they can wreak on any community’s esprit de corps. At the same time, this exposition goes to show why harnessing the “emotional intelligence” of gratitude is our best bet for obviating fanaticism both in its covert forms and in its most spectacular and lethal manifestations. Finally, this line of inquiry will illuminate why Solomon went so far as to extol gratitude as “the best approach to life itself.”

Keywords

Emotional Intelligence Care Structure Naturalize Spirituality Existential Uncertainty Divine Hiddenness 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

References

  1. Bourdieu, Pierre. 1990. The logic of practice. Stanford: Stanford University Press.Google Scholar
  2. Camus, Albert. 2000. The myth of Sisyphus (trans: O’Brien, J). New York: Penguin Books.Google Scholar
  3. Draper, Paul. 2001. Seeking but not believing: Confessions of a practicing agnostic. In Divine hiddenness: New essays, ed. D. Howard-Snyder and P.K. Moser, 197–214. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Eagleton, Terry. 2005. Holy terror. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  5. Frankfurt, Harry. 2005. The importance of what we care about: Philosophical essays. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  6. Geuss, Raymond. 2005. Outside ethics. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  7. Habermas, Jürgen. 2001. Glauben und Wissen. Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp.Google Scholar
  8. Habermas, Jürgen. 2005. Zwischen Naturalismus und Religion: Philosophische Aufsätze. Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp.Google Scholar
  9. Holsinger, Bruce. 2005. The premodern condition: Medievalism and the making of theory. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  10. Hoy, David Couzens. 2005. Critical resistance: From poststructuralism to post-critique. Cambridge: The MIT Press.Google Scholar
  11. Kant, Immanuel. 1993. Grounding for the metaphysics of morals (trans: Ellington, J.W.). Indianapolis/Cambridge: Hackett Publishing Company.Google Scholar
  12. Kierkegaard, Søren. 2004. The sickness unto death (trans: Hannay, A.). London/New York: Penguin Books.Google Scholar
  13. Kotsko, Adam. 2008. Žižek and theology. London/New York: T&T Clark.Google Scholar
  14. Nietzsche, Friedrich. 2002. Beyond good and evil, ed. R.-P. Horstmann and J. Norman. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  15. Nietzsche, Friedrich. 2003. Twilight of the idols and the anti-christ (trans: Hollingdale, R.J). London/New York: Penguin Books.Google Scholar
  16. Pattison, George. 2005. The philosophy of Kierkegaard. Montreal/Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press.Google Scholar
  17. Peirce, Charles S. 1998. Essential writings. Amherst: Prometheus Books.Google Scholar
  18. Sartre, Jean-Paul. 1989. Portrait of the antisemite. In Existentialism from Dostoevsky to Sartre, ed. W. Kaufmann, 329–345. New York: Meridian.Google Scholar
  19. Solomon, Robert C. 1976. Is there happiness after death? Philosophy 51: 189–193.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Solomon, Robert C. 1983. In the spirit of Hegel. New York/Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  21. Solomon, Robert C. 1999. The joy of philosophy: Thinking thin versus the passionate life. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  22. Solomon, Robert C. 2002. Spirituality for the skeptic: The thoughtful love of life. Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Solomon, Robert C. 2004. In defense of sentimentality. Oxford/New York: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Solomon, Robert C. 2006. Dark feelings, grim thoughts: Experience and reflection in Camus and Sartre. Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Tillich, Paul. 2001. Dynamics of faith. New York: HarperCollins.Google Scholar
  26. Urmson, J.O. 1990. The Greek philosophical vocabulary. London: Duckworth.Google Scholar
  27. Wolterstorff, Nicholas. 1995. Divine discourse: Philosophical reflections on the claim that God speaks. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Young, Julian. 2001. Heidegger’s philosophy of art. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  29. Young, Julian. 2003. The death of God and the meaning of life. London/New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  30. Žižek, Slavoj. 2001. On belief. London/New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  31. Žižek, Slavoj. 2002. Welcome to the desert of the real: Five essays on September 11 and related dates. London/New York: Verso.Google Scholar
  32. Žižek, Slavoj. 2006. How to read Lacan. New York/London: W.W. Norton & Company.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Mathematics and PhilosophyColumbus State UniversityColumbusUSA

Personalised recommendations