Vier moralische Schriften: Essay

by Umberto Eco (Autor)

Other authorsBurkhart Kroeber (Translator)
Hardcover, 1998



Call number

IV 25480 M828



Carl Hanser (1998), Edition: 4, 118 pages


Embracing the web of multi-culturalism that has become a fact of contemporary life from New York to New Delhi, Eco argues that we are more connected to people of othe traditions and customs than ever before, making tolerance the ultimate value in today's world. What good does war do in a world where the flow of goods, services and information is unstoppable and the enemy is always behind the lines? In the most personal of the essays, Eco recalls experiencing liberation from fascism in Italy as a boy and examines the various historical forms of fascism. Eco reflects on a question underlying all the reflections in the book - what does it mean to be moral or ethical when one doesn't believe in God?

User reviews

LibraryThing member carioca
I really enjoyed this little book and go back to it frequently. This is a group of five essays written by Eco for different publications, focusing mainly on Italian fascismo and the changes in Europe's make-up since the end of WWII. As always, Eco's writing is elegant and witty to a fault.
LibraryThing member behemothing
Although I don't quite agree with some material with which he predicates his arguments (mostly picky historical bits that I have a tendency to give excessive importance or centrality), I like what Eco wants to do (namely, reflect on 'what it means to be moral or ethical when one doesn't believe in
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God') and am excited to finish this book and hear his conclusions.
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LibraryThing member teknognome
A decent read, for a collection of five disconnected essays. The piece on Ur-Fascism is definitely worthwhile, as are the ones on the press (even if Italian-focused, the themes resonant to modern American media) and tolerance & the intolerable. I didn't care for the essay on war; it was too
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abstract and removed from reality.
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LibraryThing member jonfaith
We shall not get out of this circle until it is decided that when exceptional events occur, humanity cannot afford to apply the laws currently in force, but must shoulder the responsibility of sanctioning new ones.

Five Moral Pieces is another collection of Eco's essays and lectures, these are from
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the 1990s and as suggested by the title refer to plotting a moral course in a world revising its codes and transmitting mediums. The first few weren't encouraging, focusing o a new virtual definition f war and whether it was possible to for the godless to be good. Interesting as always, my spirits were not encouraged until the final two essays: Ur-Fascism and Migration, Tolerance and the Intolerable. Both appear to a response to our daily headlines and the clamor for expulsion from Charlotte to Hamburg.
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LibraryThing member et.carole
This collection seems a bit eccentric when considered as a whole, on account of the different topics covered and the different audiences and tones for which the essays were written. They are unified by the spark of clarified brilliance that defines Eco's writing, which is precise and incisive.
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Though it seems absurd to select favorites from a pool of only five, Ur-Fascism stands out as a blend of personal experience, political and historical analysis, and theoretical distillation of what fascism means as a term and how it functions. On the Press also feels relevant as a discussion of where the media is as an industry and where it is going. Although this essay is limited to a specifically Italian scope, the principles are widely applicable--and in 1995, Eco predicted the limitations of a self-selected news source like the algorithm-based feeds available to us today. The other three are gems as well.
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Original language


Original publication date


Physical description

118 p.; 7.56 inches


3446192832 / 9783446192836
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