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Approaching Infinity: Dignity in Arthur Koestler’s Darkness at Noon

Philosophy and Literature, October 2009

19 Pages Posted: 29 Jun 2009 Last revised: 16 Mar 2010

Roger Berkowitz

Bard College

Date Written: June 22, 2009

Abstract

Human dignity underlies human rights and is a pillar of liberal politics. Yet what is dignity? And what is the place of dignity in politics? Arthur Koestler’s Darkness at Noon is a searing inquiry into the conflict between dignity and reason as opposing grounds of politics. Koestler shows how a rationalist politics corrodes dignity. In response, he imagines dignity as a countermeasure to reason. Political action, he suggests, must be informed by a non-rational and non-religious appeal to the infinite that is the one guarantee of a human politics. There is no justice, Koestler argues, divorced from infinite justice.

Suggested Citation

Berkowitz, Roger, Approaching Infinity: Dignity in Arthur Koestler’s Darkness at Noon (June 22, 2009). Philosophy and Literature, October 2009. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1424262

Roger Berkowitz (Contact Author)

Bard College ( email )

Annandale-on-Hudson, NY 12504-5000
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.rogerberkowitz.com

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