We live in an egoistical society and the mutation of values during these past decades are causing paradoxical situations.
Standpoints 10 Old Ideas in a New World by Svend Brinkmann being a psychologist and philosopher remarks the distorted role of psychology more focused on the individual, his/her self-realization without taking in consideration the idea of God or serious values in his/her existence.
At the same time we live in a society where people, if we are kind and generous with them ask to themselves why we are kind and generous with them, because of the egoism that there is around, because they wouldn't act like this if they wouldn't obtain something in return.
They would be keepers, not givers.
The idea? That everything must have a price. Also a simple and innocent act of kindness lived with suspect.
Where this world is going on?
The author starts analyzing a comment by one of the most stunning and intelligent actors and director we have around: Woody Allen. Jewish, he doesn't believe in God.
But: life is just this or there is something else?
If we put God aside there are serious problems in the society because men can think of acting without values as if they would be immortals, and with great immorality.
Self-books are nice, admits Brinkmann but they focus mainly on the self of the person not on the quality of his/her life.
It's silly to be compassionate because "we must be" compassionate so that others will be compassionate with us, or to donate for receiving back something. It's not that the modality for acting with real kindness and real generosity remarks the author.
In a world so confused and without a firm asset who can give us answers if not the thinkers of the past, sure of what they saw, what they experienced, what they lived followed by new and inspired philosophers?
This one the ten chapters:
1. The Good (Aristotle)
2. Dignity (Kant)
3. The Promise (Nietzsche)
4. The Self (Kierkegaard)
5. Truth (Arendt)
6. Responsibility (Løgstrup)
7. Love (Murdoch)
8. Forgiveness (Derrida)
9. Freedom (Camus)
10. Death (Montaigne)
Standpoints will put order in a world built for using other people more than for enjoying of the company of the other ones with sincerity and honesty giving value to our life and existence seen not just an egoistical life but as a life that should be shared with optimism, with sincerity, with joy, and with the certainty that life is precious.
What a melancholy sometimes for the old times and generations who truly knew, thanks to war, misery, what it meant real friendship, love, relaxation, sunny smiles and hospitality.
This book is the follow-up of Stand Firm Brinkmann's best-seller and should be shared, discussed, and should not be kept just for ourselves, because communities need to better their own ethical conditions, like all of us as well
I thank Polity for the physical copy of this book.
Anna Maria Polidori