Minding Our Minds   /   Summer 2014   /    Book Reviews

Zygmunt and Leonidas: A Dialogue

Adam B. Seligman

Passed By, Jody Claborn; flickr.

What does liquid modernity look like?

There is much of value in this volume, but it is not always easy to find. A joint reflection on our postmodern age, Moral Blindness explores themes of evil, indifference, and loss—of moral autonomy, and with it of moral solidarity and a sense of belonging and mutuality, and even of the ability to communicate.

The book is structured as a dialogue between Leonidas Donskis, professor of politics at Vytautas Magnus University, in Lithuania, and Zygmunt Bauman, emeritus professor of sociology at Leeds University, in England. For the most part, the individual dialogues begin with a long excursus by Donskis, to which Bauman responds, usually by picking up one or two threads from Donskis’s presentation and developing them along lines he finds interesting. Often this is enlightening, though the conceit of the dialogue is sometimes hard on the reader. Such interjections as “I am overwhelmed, dear Leonidas.… A long time has passed since I encountered a similarly incisive, poignant and illuminating reflection” are tiresome and somewhat off-putting.

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