For a Kinder, Gentler Society
On Violence
A Philosophical Dialogue
  • Nicholas J. Pappas
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On Violence. A Philosophical Dialogue
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This book speaks to those who wish to explore the theme of violence to a depth not ordinarily reached in everyday conversation. While the author offers a sophisticated analysis, he does so without the use of jargon or highly technical language.

In a virtual conversation with other thoughtful people, we can evaluate and refine our own positions, gaining clarity and confidence.

Of course, other concepts are closely woven in, including the distinction between reason, thinking, and feeling, where they merge, and how one may stimulate the others.

Bouncing ideas off each other, the characters find some clarity and lighten what can be weighty matters.


About the Author

Nick Pappas has published a series of over 15 thought-provoking books with Algora Publishing. He teaches high school English Language Arts in Western New York. Prior to that he worked as a director and consultant in information technology. He is a graduate of the University of Chicago and Harvard Law School. Nick has written numerous short stories and poems in addition to his philosophical dialogues.

About the Book

Who of us likes violence? Yet we see it every day, in the news and around us. 

Violence and reason are related. Violence is done to reason every time we fail to listen. Everything else, all the real violence, starts right there,...

Who of us likes violence? Yet we see it every day, in the news and around us. 

Violence and reason are related. Violence is done to reason every time we fail to listen. Everything else, all the real violence, starts right there, including tough talk in lieu of rational argument and the violence of not allowing us time to think things through.

We live in a society that often perpetrates mass violence on its own citizens with weapons designed for war. However, this is not a political book. There is no political thesis I hope to drive home. My aim is truth, understanding—do with them what you will. But I do hope to nourish the desire to know, a desire we all feel at some time or other.

Here we have a friendly coffee-shop conversation between two characters, Director and Protégé. Director is a philosopher. He and his friend explore what violence is, where it comes from, and, by implication—where it might be going. This is the kind of stimulating conversation we rarely have time for in real life, even if we have the right partner to engage with.

The characters are not eminently serious. They sometimes take a light and even playful tone. It is certainly possible to take philosophy too seriously. That, for instance, is one of the reasons why a serious philosopher like Machiavelli wrote a comedy and saw it performed. We all at times need a tonic, and this book is meant to be a tonic to violence.

I know that there are many people who will not listen to the reason presented in this book. Yes, you might say—but opinions vary concerning reason. What seems reasonable to me might not seem reasonable to you. What do we do with this dilemma? Do both sides of the debate have recourse to violence in the end?

Maybe it does not have to be that way. Maybe we can escape from our side and become some sort of neutral observer or, more likely, an open-minded participant in the scene. But to participate is to engage, and if we engage concerning reason we are more or less back on a side.

So do we simply observe? Do we become voyeurs of what, in the end, amounts to political life? If so, do we not become effete? Worse, do we become so completely disengaged that we have no concern with the outcomes of politics?

 


Introduction

This book makes use of the classical philosophical framework, the Platonic dialogue. The dialogue format is well suited to serious topics such as violence — but it is also well suited for less than serious subjects. 

Plato himself has been treated seriously enough from antiquity up until the present day. Iris Murdoch made an...

This book makes use of the classical philosophical framework, the Platonic dialogue. The dialogue format is well suited to serious topics such as violence — but it is also well suited for less than serious subjects. 

Plato himself has been treated seriously enough from antiquity up until the present day. Iris Murdoch made an attempt to render Plato more human in her Acastos. A human Plato that we can laugh at, she knew, is what we need in order to come to good terms with the Socratic legacy.

Author Nick Pappas has published a series of books offering readers that rare opportunity to sit down with intelligent partners and think. The characters are modeled on real people, not ivory-tower intellectuals spinning abstract schemes out of fluff, but looking at real-life situations and considering the choices we make, the times we avoid engaging, and the opportunities we may miss along the way. 

Categories

Pages 208
Year: 2022
BISAC: PHI000000 PHILOSOPHY / General
BISAC: PHI035000 PHILOSOPHY / Essays
Soft Cover
ISBN: 978-1-62894-485-3
Hard Cover
ISBN: 978-1-62894-486-0
eBook
ISBN: 978-1-62894-487-7

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