Doubt: A History: The Great Doubters and Their Legacy of Innovation from Socrates and Jesus to…

Paperback | September 7, 2004

byJennifer Hecht

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In the tradition of grand sweeping histories such as From Dawn To Decadence, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, and A History of God, Hecht champions doubt and questioning as one of the great and noble, if unheralded, intellectual traditions that distinguish the Western mind especially-from Socrates to Galileo and Darwin to Wittgenstein and Hawking. This is an account of the world's greatest ‘intellectual virtuosos,' who are also humanity's greatest doubters and disbelievers, from the ancient Greek philosophers, Jesus, and the Eastern religions, to modern secular equivalents Marx, Freud and Darwin—and their attempts to reconcile the seeming meaninglessness of the universe with the human need for meaning,

This remarkable book ranges from the early Greeks, Hebrew figures such as Job and Ecclesiastes, Eastern critical wisdom, Roman stoicism, Jesus as a man of doubt, Gnosticism and Christian mystics, medieval Islamic, Jewish and Christian skeptics, secularism, the rise of science, modern and contemporary critical thinkers such as Schopenhauer, Darwin, Marx, Freud, Nietzsche, the existentialists.

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From the Publisher

In the tradition of grand sweeping histories such as From Dawn To Decadence, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, and A History of God, Hecht champions doubt and questioning as one of the great and noble, if unheralded, intellectual traditions that distinguish the Western mind especially-from Socrates to Galileo and Darwin to Wittg...

“Doubt, Hecht insists, is ancient history, and yet also of supreme contemporary consequence.In offering a freewheeling history of freethinking across the centuries, Hecht combines sweeping vision with sparkling prose to produce a book as thoughtful as it is engaging.Suspend your disbelief of blurbs, and read this book!” (Leigh Schmidt,...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:576 pages, 9 × 6 × 1.44 inPublished:September 7, 2004Publisher:HarperCollinsLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0060097957

ISBN - 13:9780060097950

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Customer Reviews of Doubt: A History: The Great Doubters and Their Legacy of Innovation from Socrates and Jesus to Thomas Jefferson and E

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Rated 5 out of 5 by from Phenomenal! A phenomenal and beautifully written exploration of the history of doubt, atheism, skepticism, reason, graceful life philosophies, and the struggle against western monotheisms. A chronological journey over the past several thousand years, crossing continents and cultures, highlighting the key players and critical events, from the ancients to the present. Intially discovered it as referenced by Hitchens, the writing of J.M. Hecht provides the essential (and welcome) historical background that the more popular best-sellers seem to lack. Thought provoking and powerful.
Date published: 2008-04-03

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Editorial Reviews

“Jennifer Michael Hecht has forever changed the way I will think about history — religious or otherwise.”