Apathy And Its Impact On Society

850 Words Jan 27th, 2015 4 Pages
Chap. 1. What is apathy? Before inspecting the root causes and solutions to the problem of apathy, a uniform definition of apathy must be obtained to be used throughout this thesis. In the Oxford English Dictionary, the word apathy is defined as: lack of interest, enthusiasm, or concern. The usage of the word apathy can be traced back to 17th century France, and then still further back to the ancient greek word apathēs, which meant without feeling. As the dictionary makes clear, the concept of apathy has many meanings, but the common link may be summarised as a lack of interest in a certain subject. Although the subject could vary from gardening to engineering, this dissertation thesis will focus on apathy in relation to politics. Having defined apathy, the crucial question is to decide whether apathy has either a positive or negative impact on society. The answer depends, in part at least, on one’s view of human nature. In ancient Athens, Aristotle declared that ‘man is a political animal’, meaning by this that a full human existence demanded active participation in the public life of the agora. Apathy in this respect would mean being condemned to a subhuman existence. For Christian thinkers of the Medieval Age, by contrast, the highest good is outside politics, being the purely personal quest for religious salvation. From this standpoint, political apathy might well be a desirable thing, since politics is merely a distraction from religion. In the early…

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