The Faces of Fear: Cross-cultural Dialogues on Fear and Political Community

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dc.contributor.advisor Yack, Bernard
dc.contributor.author Lee, Jinmin
dc.date.accessioned 2014-05-19T20:08:03Z
dc.date.available 2014-05-19T20:08:03Z
dc.date.issued 2014
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10192/27107
dc.description.abstract Inspired by the hopes of better understanding and managing fear in our political lives, this dissertation engages Western and Chinese thinkers in a cross-cultural dialogue about fear. Influenced by the Enlightenment portrayal of fear, we tend to think fear as the greatest evil of civilization and the greatest enemy of freedom. This research shows that this way of thinking about fear is not the only one that is plausible or available to us. In order to understand what is missing from our current understanding of fear, this dissertation explores parallels among six philosophers who represent diverse attitudes to fear and political community. The six philosophers are grouped in three pairs, each of which includes one Western and one Chinese thinker: the moralists, Aristotle and Confucius; the realists, Hobbes and Han Fei; and the Enlighteners, Montesquieu and Liang Qichao. From the dialogue among these thinkers, the thesis shows how the concept of fear has changed its character; how fear has developed critical relationships with justice, equality and liberty; and how fear has been related to the different ways of political life. At the same time, by highlighting each voice’s strengths and weaknesses, this cross-cultural dialogue enables us to see how each theory may hide sources of fear within itself and how, ironically, they sometimes inflate the fears that they were designed to tame. Contemporary liberals, in particular, need to learn that there is much that is missing in our current understanding of fear and how these limitations may undermine their efforts to promote individual liberty and security. In this regard, these different faces of fear point both to a richer portrait of fear and a better understanding of how to handle it. en_US
dc.description.sponsorship Brandeis University, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences en_US
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf
dc.language English
dc.language.iso eng
dc.publisher Brandeis University
dc.relation.ispartofseries Brandeis University Theses and Dissertations
dc.rights Copyright by Jinmin Lee 2014
dc.subject fear and political community
dc.subject history of fear
dc.subject cross-cultural dialogues
dc.subject Aristotle
dc.subject Confucius
dc.subject Hobbes
dc.subject Han Fei
dc.subject Montesquieu
dc.subject Liang Qichao
dc.title The Faces of Fear: Cross-cultural Dialogues on Fear and Political Community
dc.type Thesis
dc.contributor.department Department of Politics
dc.degree.name PhD
dc.degree.level Doctoral
dc.degree.discipline Politics
dc.degree.grantor Brandeis University, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences


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