An Introduction to the Philosophy of Fanaticism

In Fanaticism and the History of Philosophy. London: Rewriting the History of Philosophy. pp. 1-18 (2023)
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What is fanaticism and why is it an important philosophical topic? In this introductory chapter, I discuss the way in which fanaticism arose as a central philosophical concern in the early modern period. Philosophical discussions of fanaticism focus on psychological, epistemic, and behavioral dimensions of fanatics. The fanatic displays psychological peculiarities; epistemic defects; and potentially problematic behavioral tendencies. I discuss the ways in which different philosophers have offered different accounts of these three features; offer a brief defense of my own account of fanaticism; and highlight some key questions about fanaticism. I close with an overview of the essays in this volume.



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Paul Katsafanas
Boston University

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References found in this work

Essays, Moral, Political, and Literary.David Hume - 1875 - Indianapolis: Liberty Press. Edited by Eugene F. Miller.
Observations on the feeling of the beautiful and sublime.Immanuel Kant - 1960 - Berkeley,: University of California Press. Edited by Immanuel Kant.
Moral Thinking. Its Levels, Method and Point.R. M. Hare - 1985 - Revue de Métaphysique et de Morale 90 (2):271-273.
In hate we trust: The collectivization and habitualization of hatred.Thomas Szanto - 2018 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences:1-28.

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