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Prejudices: A Philosophical Dictionary [Paperback]

Robert Nisbet
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

October 15, 1983 067470066X 978-0674700666
Book by Nisbet, Robert

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Prejudices: A Philosophical Dictionary + Rendezvous with Destiny: A History of Modern American Reform
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Product Details

  • Series: Philosophical Dictionary
  • Paperback: 328 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press (October 15, 1983)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 067470066X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0674700666
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,457,565 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An outstanding philosophical dictionary January 17, 2005
I am surprised that no one has previously reviewed this book. It is an especially brilliant one, one whose definition of political and social concepts is written with a great knowledge and deep understanding. It is a book which can tell the reader a tremendous amount about the age we live in. Nisbet is a wonderful writer .

Here is a small sample from his entry on Fanaticism.


This is to zeal what paranoia is to suspicion. There is no area of human behavior exempt from the affliction. Fanaticism is seen in the lifelong labor of the Baconian , certain each day that the next day will bring the long- awaited proof of the non- existence of Shakespeare. It is seen in the relentless hatreds of academics convinced that they have seen the only one true curricular light and feeling betrayed by all who do not see it. And it is to be found in the speculations of ' gold bugs' absolute in their faith that only gold will escape the imminent collapse of all equities and securities.

If you take interest in present day political and social realities this book should be part of your library.
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25 of 32 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
People who think they are "conservative" should read this book. For that matter, "liberals" should read it too. I put these words in quotes because I don't really know what they mean, and I think half the people who go about using them to describe themselves or others haven't really thought about them, either. We're not much into self-reflection or any kind of reflection these days. In an age of shrill noise from Fox News, Ann Coulter, Sean Hannity and other self-aggrandizing pygmies, the late Robert Nisbet is someone needed--and largely absent--today: a rational social voice, a well-reasoned professor and philosopher from Columbia University who arrived at his beliefs after careful thought and analysis, rather than someone who adopts or corrupts a dogma and then slants the evidence his way. Nisbet sees no religious or even moral conflict in Abortion, for example, pointing out that the fetus is sanctified neither in the Bible nor in the tradition of the time, and wasn't until the 20th century. Pro-Lifers who go to the Bible for weight to their case have twisted the Scriptures; by the same token, he shows how Roe v. Wade was not good law, or at least wise law. In other words, he sides with neither dogma, but arrives at his conclusion via his own thinking. How refreshing.

I discovered this book--and Nisbet--quite by accident in the mid 80s. I was browsing for nothing in particular in a bookshop and found a paperback copy. Even though I knew nothing of the author or many of the subjects then covered, somehow I was attracted to the title, and bought it as an act of faith. I was only in high school at the time and really didn't grasp the intricacies of many of the arguments, nor get all the references.
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