Cruelty, horror, and the will to redemption

Hypatia 18 (2):155-188 (2003)
Abstract
: Americans cherish the idea that good eventually triumphs over evil. After briefly arguing that a proper understanding of the moral harm of cruelty calls into question the credibility of popular American idioms of redemption, I argue that the epistemic dynamics of horror help account for the commanding grip of this rhetoric on the popular imagination, and I suggest that this idiom has morally problematic features that warrant the attention of feminists
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