This title was first published in 2000. Rethinking Prejudice offers the first philosophical monograph on the concept of prejudice. It takes its start from a study of Enlightenment thought, and pursues the topic to the reassessment of prejudice in contemporary hermeneutics. Yet history of ideas is a means rather than an end in this book. Dorschel analyzes the debates about prejudice from the 17th century onwards in order to shed light upon present concerns. Prejudice is not something peculiar to racists and similarly sinister figures, Dorschel argues; rather, it is an indispensable part of everyone's intellectual repertoire; if relevant phenomena are to be criticized, a genuine moral stance cannot be avoided. This book introduces and explores a topic of wide interest, particularly to those researching within the fields of philosophy, history of ideas, cultural studies, and social and political theory.
Table of Contents
1. On enlightenment, especially on its conclusion that all prejudices should be abandoned. 2. On the intricate relation of prejudice to experience, and on its alleged stupidity. 3. On the hermeneutic vindication of prejudice, and why it does not succeed. 4. On the paradox of recommending prejudices, and the ways in which it can be circumvented. 5. On morality, sadism, and related matters, or how to see that prejudice is not to be dispensed with.
’This book fills a gap in current literature: the systematic study Dorschel presents, unifying an historical treatment with proposals for acceptance today, offers a significant new contribution.’ J.E.J. Altham, Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge 'Dorschel ...rethinks a common yet elusive concept. He does this mainly in relation to the philosophical tradition, but draws also on literary acccounts, historical cases and everyday examples ... Dorschel's book bristles with insights, which is precisely what a book about prejudice should do...it is strongly recommended, regardless of whether or not you finally accede to its central argument.' European Journal of Communication.