Susan Hurley has argued against a well known argument for freedom of speech, the argument from autonomy, on the basis of two hypotheses about violence in the media and aggressive behaviour. The first hypothesis says that exposure to media violence causes aggressive behaviour; the second, that humans have an innate tendency to copy behaviour in ways that bypass conscious deliberation. I argue, first, that Hurley is not successful in setting aside the argument from autonomy. Second, I show that (...) the empirical data are irrelevant to statutory regulation of media violence. They do not yield a sufficiently strong correlation between exposure to media violence and non-autonomously copied criminal violence, and they do not yield a way ex ante to individuate the viewers who will be affected by media violence. (shrink)
In Italy, a judge reduced the sentence of a defendant by 1 year in response to evidence for a genetic predisposition to violence. The best characterized of these genetic differences, those in the monoamine oxidase A (MAOA), were cited as especially relevant. Several months previously in the USA, MAOA data contributed to a jury reducing charges from 1st degree murder (a capital offence) to voluntary manslaughter. Is there a rational basis for this type of use of MAOA evidence in (...) criminal court? This paper will review in context recent work on the MAOA gene–environment interaction in predisposing individuals to violence and address the relevance of such findings to murder trials. Interestingly, the MAOA genetic variants impact future violence and aggression only when combined with the adverse environmental stimuli of childhood maltreatment. Thus nature and nurture interact to determine the individual’s risk. Based on current evidence, I argue there is a weak case for mitigation. But should future experiments confirm the hypothesis that individual differences in impulse control and response to provocation found in MAOA-L men (without abuse) are significantly magnified when combined with childhood maltreatment, the case could turn into a stronger one. (shrink)
Contrary to what we might initially think, domestic violence is not simply a violation of respect. This characterization of domestic violence misses two key points. First, the issue of respect in connection with domestic violence is not as straightforward as it appears. Second, domestic violence is also a violation of care. These key points explain how domestic violence negatively affects a victim’s autonomy and agency—the ability to choose and pursue her own goals and life plan.We (...) have a moral responsibility to respond to the problem of domestic violence as individuals. But the state also has a responsibility to respond. According to Kant in the Doctrine of Right, one of the purposes of the state is to secure just treatment for everyone. I argue that this includes an obligation to put in place policies and services that will promote the autonomy and agency of victims of domestic violence. (shrink)
The Blood of Others begins at the bedside of a mortally wounded Résistance fighter named Hélène Bertrand. We encounter her from the point of view of Jean Blomart, her friend and lover, who recounts the story of their relationship : their first meeting, unhappy romance, bitter breakup, and eventual reunion as fellow fighters for the liberation of occupied France. The novel invites the reader to interpret Hélène and Jean’s story as one of positive ethical development. On this progressive reading, although (...) both characters are initially mired in bad faith and ethical irresponsibility, they ultimately transform themselves into ethically exemplary figures. Through their participation in violent political resistance against the occupation, they recognize their responsibility to humanity and actualize that responsibility in the form of positive political engagement. I will argue, on the contrary, that Jean and Hélène exhibit a unique form of bad faith that Beauvoir identifies in The Ethics of Ambiguity, a dangerous form of bad faith, distinct from the Sartrean conception, that promotes the indiscriminate use of violence for political ends. (shrink)
Introduction: Evolution and mind -- The evolution of morality -- Setting the task -- The moral brain -- The first layer : kin selection -- The second layer : reciprocal altruism -- A third layer : indirect reciprocity -- A fourth layer : cultural group selection -- A fifth layer : the moral emotions -- Conclusion: From moral grammar to moral systems -- The evolution of moral religions -- Setting the task -- The evolution of the religious mind -- Conceptualizing (...) the almighty -- The moral function of gods -- Evolutionary religious ethics : Judaism -- Setting the task -- Constructing Yahweh -- TheTen Commandments : an evolutionary interpretation -- Conclusion: The evolved law -- Evolutionary religious ethics : Christianity -- Setting the task -- Constructing the Christ -- Setting the boundaries : Christian and/or Jew? -- The third race : Christians as in-group -- Putting on Christ : Christianity's signals of commitment -- Loving your neighbor and turning the other cheek -- Religion, violence, and the evolved mind -- Setting the task -- Devoted to destruction : sanctified violence and Judaism -- The blood of the Lamb -- A case study in the evolved psychology of religious violence : 9/11/01 -- Religion evolving -- Setting the task -- Varieties of religious expressions -- If there were no God -- Religion, ethics, and violence : an assessment -- Responding to religion, ethics, and violence : some proposals. (shrink)
This paper argues that learning is inherently violent. It examines the way in which Heidegger uses – and refrains from using – the concept in his account of Dasein. Heidegger explicitly discussed “learning” in 1951 and he used of the word in several contexts. Although he confines his use of “learning” to the ontic side of the ontic-ontological divide, there are aspects of what he says that open the door to an ontological analogue of the ontic learning. In this discussion (...) it emerges that what precludes “learning” behaving as does “willing”, “waiting” and “thanking”, is something that derives from the relatedness of Dasein. The paper finally examines violence within the disclosure of truth. The approach to the investigation is experimental and is to some extent modeled on Heidegger‟s own later enquires. (shrink)
Various historians, philosophers, and social scientists have attempted to provide convincing explanations of the roots of violence, with mixed and confusing results. This book brings Kierkegaard's voice into this conversation in a powerful way, arguing that the Christian intellectual tradition offers the key philosophical tools needed for comprehending human pathology.
In praise of cruelty : Bataille, Kafka, and Ling-Chi -- Fragmentary description of a disaster : Claude Simon -- The resistance to pathos and the pathos of resistance : Peter Weiss -- Medeamachine : the "fallout" of violence in Heiner Müller -- Epilogue : Francis Bacon, or, The brutality of fact.
The article connects a sociological perspective on violence to the problem of intersubjectivity. After an overview of sociological and cultural accounts of violence, we turn to a fundamental problem caused by the experience of violence. In dialogue with Frances Chaput Wakslers book on The New Orleans Sniper (2010) we discuss a case in which the problem of intersubjectivity figures prominently. The erratic nature of violent acts committed by an unseen sniper is experienced as existential crisis in which (...) the question of subjectivity loses its certainty for the social actors involved. As a consequence the problem of intersubjectivity but also questions of framing past events are opened up for sociological research. (shrink)
One of the most pressing concerns for contemporary society is the issue of violence and the factors that promote it. In Altared Ground: Levinas, History and Violence , Brian Schroeder stages an engagement between Emmanuel Levinas, one of the leading figures in 20th century Continental philosophy, and Plato, Hegel, Heidegger, Nietzsche, Merleau-Ponty, Derrida and others in the history of ideas. Not merely an exposition of Levinas' original and complex ethical thinking, Brian Schroeder seeks to re-read the history of (...) Western philosophy and religion by going beyond Levinas' alternatives to traditional theories of the self in order to suggest a notion of subjectivity that is not grounded in violence. Schroeder contributes to current discussions of re-conceiving subjectity as intersubjectivity in a postmodern context through a sustained analysis of interpersonal violence. In addition, he takes up the themes of alterity, ground, transcendence, responsibility, language, community, politics, Divinity, and futurity. This interdisciplinary work will appeal not only to philosophers but to those in theology, religious studies, literary theory, and to anyone else interested in issues of subjectivity and societal violence. (shrink)
For Gianni Vattimo, the renunciation of violence is the starting point for constructing a post foundational politics. So far, criticism of Vattimo’s argument has focused on his larger commitment to metaphysical nihilism and whether the renunciation of violence is a thicker principle than his post foundational philosophy can support. I argue that Vattimo’s renunciation of violence can also be criticized for two other reasons. First, Vattimo attempts to distinguish between acceptable and unacceptable uses of violence through (...) an under developed idea of self-defense. Second, despite his attention to the political and philosophical impact of mass communications technology, Vattimo ignores emerging technological challenges to our understanding of violence. Nonetheless, I argue that Vattimo’s renunciation can still serve as a useful starting point for contemporary political thinking. What Vattimo’s logic shows is that we can enhance the moral standing of democracy by decisively detaching its practices and institutions from historical artifacts of political violence. (shrink)
The politicization of ontology -- Foundational violence -- Dangerous animals -- The politics of gendered violence -- Political life -- The management of state violence -- The political ontology of neoliberalism -- Violence and neoliberal governmentality -- Terror and political spirituality.
This article explores the manner in which politico-legal language makes use of metaphors of violence and destruction in order to describe state/legal functions and actions. It argues that although such use of a militaristic hyperbole is generally regarded as normal and appropriate, it is in fact harmful in the way that it presents complex and specific problems as being simple and abstract. From a semiotic point of view, and using the work of Roland Barthes, law is regarded as a (...) system of signs and ‘combative’ legal language can be seen as ideological manipulation through the technique of so-called second-level signification (myth). Although it is conceded that law, similar to all other interpretive systems, cannot avoid the use of metaphoric language, it is argued that we should resist regarding legal language as neutral and ‘natural’ and that we should rather retain the memory of legal concepts and categories as historical, man-made, and therefore always open to revision. (shrink)
Part 1. Spaces within spaces -- 1. Extremes -- 2. Nature abhors a vacuum -- 3. Space travel -- 4. Learn to say -- 5. Metaphysical habitats -- 6. Departures -- 7. Plumage and talismans -- 8. Inner space -- Part 2. Snares for the eyes -- 9. The fallen giant -- 10. The stone -- 11. The voices of things -- 12. Nature and art -- 13. Nature -- 14. In touch -- Part. 3. The sacred -- 15. Sacrilege (...) -- Part 4. Violence -- 16. Material culture -- 17. Orders -- 18. Filth -- 19. Fake fetishes, disrobed mannequins -- 20. Wallowing in glory -- 21. The art of war -- Part 5. Splendor -- 22. The face of death -- 23. The emergence of dance -- 24. Collective performances -- 25. War and splendor. (shrink)
This volume sets out to give a philosophical "applied" account of violence, engaged with both empirical and theoretical debates in other disciplines such as cognitive science, sociology, psychiatry, anthropology, political theory, ...
This article constructs a critical historical, political and theoretical analysis of the essence of Fascist criminal law discourse in terms of the violence that shaped and characterised it. The article examines the significance of violence in key declarations about the role and purpose of criminal law by Alfredo Rocco, Fascist Minister of Justice and leading ideologue, in his principal speech on the final draft of the 1930 Italian Penal Code. It is grounded on the premise that criminal law (...) is particularly significant for understanding the relationship between State power and individuals, and so what was distinctive about Fascist thinking in this regard. The article analyses Rocco’s declarations as a discourse in order to highlight their contextual foundations, construction and ideological connections. It argues that the core theme of that discourse is violence, which has three principal dimensions: a close historical and rhetorical connection with war, a focus on repressive and intimidatory force, and a paramount concern with subordinating individuals to State interests. The article then uses this analysis to develop a theoretical reading of the nexus between criminal law and violence in Fascism, in terms of its foundations and reversal of ends and means. The article thus provides an original perspective on Fascism and criminal law, which it argues is important for critical engagement with criminal law discourse in our democracies today. (shrink)
Is violence senseless or is it at the origin of sense? Does its destruction of meaning disclose ourselves as the origin of meaning? Or is it the case that it leaves in its wake only a barren field? Does it result in renewal or only in a sense of dead loss? To answer these questions, I shall look at James Dodd’s, Hegel’s, and Carl Schmitt’s accounts of the creative power of violence—particularly with regard to its ability to give (...) individuals and groups their sense of self-identity. I shall also follow up on Peg Birmingham’s suggestion that Socrates’ defense at his trial points to an alternate source of our self-identity—one that is ultimately less barren. (shrink)
This article elaborates a relational phenomenology of violence. Firstly, it explores the constitution of all sense in its intrinsic relation with our embodiment and intercorporality. Secondly, it shows how this relational conception of sense and constitution paves the path for an integrative understanding of the bodily and symbolic constituents of violence. Thirdly, the author addresses the overall consequences of these reflections, thereby identifying the main characteristics of a relational phenomenology of violence. In the final part, the paper (...) provides an exemplification of the outlined conception with regard to a concrete phenomenon of violence, i.e., slapping, and a concluding reflection upon its overall significance for research on violence. (shrink)
This book traces the theory of violence from nineteenth-century symmetrical warfare through today's warfare of electronics and unbalanced numbers. Surveying such luminaries as Walter Benjamin, Frantz Fanon, Hannah Arendt, Paul Virilio, and Jacques Derrida, Avelar also offers a discussion of theories of torture and confession, the work of Roman Polanski and Borges, and a meditation on the rise of the novel in Colombia.
Introduction: Reflections on violence -- Schmitt's challenge (Clausewitz, Schmitt) -- On violence (Arendt, Sartre) -- On the line (Junger, Heidegger) -- Violence and responsibility (Patoka) -- Conclusion: Six problems of violence.
The paper starts from a phenomenology of violence that reconsiders the phenomenal contours of the seemingly opposed concepts of violence, on the one hand physical violence and on the other hand structural violence. We argue that the implied definiteness of their reciprocal separableness is not given. Instead, violence should be understood as the negation of sociality. As such, it is closely related to a basic form of trust in relation to people’s self-awareness, and their relation (...) to others and to the world. It operates as a background assumption that can only be grasped ex negativo. Shattered trust is induced by interpersonal violence. That is why we focus on traumatizing and traumatic experiences and its social implications. We argue that such an analysis is only rarely done within the discipline of sociology and we therefore suggest a systematic heuristic to study the social implications of traumata. Researching those implications in turn helps us to understand the phenomenon of violence and (basic) trust alike. (shrink)
Following on the arguments adumbrated in his previous works, Piotr Hoffman here argues that the notion of and concern with violence are not limited to political philosophy but in fact form the essential component of philosophy in general. The acute awareness of the ever-present possibility of violence, Hoffman claims, filters into and informs ontology and epistemology in ways that require careful analysis. In his previous book, Doubt, Time, Violence , Hoffman explored the theme of violence in (...) relation to Descartes' problematic of doubt and Heidegger's work on temporality. The pivotal notion deriving from that investigation is the notion of the other as the ultimate limit of one's powers. In effect, Hoffman argues, our practical mastery of the natural environment still leaves intact the limitation of human agents by each other. In a violent environment, the other emerges as an insurmountable obstacle to one's aims and purposes or as an inescapable danger which one is powerless to hold at bay. The other is thus the focus of an ultimate resistance to one's powers. The special status of the other, as Hoffman articulates it, is at the root of several key notions around which modern philosophy has built its problematic. Arguing here that when the theme of violence is taken into account many conceptual tensions and puzzles receive satisfying solutions, Hoffman traces the theme through the issue of things versus properties; through Kant's treatment of causality, necessity, and freedom in the Critique of Pure Reason; and through the early parts of Hegel's Logic. The result is a complete reorientation and reinterpretation of these important texts. Violence in Modern Philosophy offers patient and careful textual clarification in light of Hoffman's central thesis regarding the other as ultimate limit. With a high level of originality, he shows that the theme of violence is the hidden impulse behind much of modern philosophy. Hoffman's unique stress on the constitutive importance of violence also offers a challenge to the dominant "compatibilist" tradition in moral and political theory. Of great interest to all philosophers, this work will also provide fresh insights to anthropologists and all those in the social sciences and humanities who occupy themselves with the general theory of culture. (shrink)
This paper raises the question whether language and violence are internally connected. It starts from the experience of violence and from its theoretical interpretation as violence in the context of political forms of life which are challenged by complaints about violence. Such forms of life have to confront this issue because they are supposed to be responsive to claims and demands of others who articulate violence as an experience of violation. Whether a kind of responsive (...) ethos may be based on the suspected inner connection between language and violence is being discussed at the end. (shrink)
I wrote this book to explain how South Africa has succeeded to steer away from the brink of civil war to become a political miracle of peace. -/- To write this book meant fusing empirical studies on the politics of apart¬heid and political violence with theories of political morality. I first had to explain the links between the unjust apartheid system and political violence and then how South Africans managed to establish peace despite injustice and violence. The (...) book ends with a detailed explanation of the moral vision on which the new South Africa rests. -/- The first chapter of the book explains the concepts injustice and violence. The next three chapters trace the developments which led to the establish¬ment and demise of apartheid South Africa. Chapter Two characterizes the first twenty-five years of the rule of National Party government from 1948 to 1983. Chapter Three discusses the main trends in South African politics brought about by the reforms unilaterally instituted by the National Party in 1983. Chapter Four deals with the conflicting political trends that emerged after the unbanning of persons and organizations by former President F.W. de Klerk in February 1990. The final two chapters give a detailed explanation of the conception of justice underlying South Africa’s remarkable peace. (shrink)
How can audiences interact creatively, wisely and peaceably with the many different forms of violence found throughout today's media? Suicide attacks, graphic executions and the horrors of war appear in news reports, films, web-sites, and even on mobile phones. One approach towards media violence is to attempt to protect viewers; another is to criticize journalists, editors, film-makers and their stories. In this book Jolyon Mitchell highlights Christianity's ambiguous relationship with media violence. He goes beyond debates about the (...) effects of watching mediated violence to examine how audiences, producers and critics interact with news images, films, video-games and advertising. He argues that practices such as hospitality, friendship, witness and worship can provide the context where both spectacular and hidden violence can be remembered and reframed. This can help audiences to imagine how their own identities and communities can be based not upon violence, but upon a more lasting foundation of peace. (shrink)
The act of killing: an introduction -- Death by Narmer and others: the Archaic period -- Slaying under the Aegis of the God-King: the Old Kingdom -- Sanctioned killing in the time between: the First Intermediate Period -- Death by drowning, burning, and flaying: the Middle Kingdom and the Second Intermediate Period -- The slayings of the great pharaohs: Dynasty 18 -- Instances of intrigue: the Ramesside Era -- The constancy of killing amidst anarchy: Dynasties 21, 22, 25, and 26 (...) -- A time to kill: the appropriateness of violence -- Foreigners and Isfet -- Violent myth in the ritual of return -- Those who are about to die, we abhor you. (shrink)
The aims of this essay are (A) to examine the extent to which Marx, Engels and Lenin believed in revolution by peaceful means and what was their attitude towards the phenomenon of war, and (B) to reflect on the different interpretations of their writings, discerning between three schools of thought. It is argued that Marx and Engels considered violence only as an instrument of secondary importance and desirable insofar as there is no other alternative to change the system. It (...) is further contended that while they, in the course of years, adopted a more moderate position regarding the use of violence, Lenin's viewpoint radicalized as the possibility of a revolution in Russia became real. As years went by Lenin affirmed not only the use of violence but also the resort to terrorist activities. Unlike Marx and Engels he became an ardent supporter of all types of terror. (shrink)
This paper describes a class of social acts called “violent acts” and distinguishes them from damaging acts. The former are successfully performed if they are apprehended by the victim, while the latter, being not social, are successful only as long as the intended damage is realized. It is argued that violent acts, if successful, generate a social relation which include the aggressor, the victim and, if the concomitant damaging act is satisfied, the damage itself.
There is an opening in Castoriadis’ work for a notion of cruelty, and it emerges in the way in which he develops his idea of heteronomy, as a human world that is blinded or deflected away from human self-creation. This essay is an attempt to locate cruelty constitutively or ontologically in a post-metaphysical register, as an act of creativity that can be given form as a very particular act of singularity, that is, without regard for the other. Acts of human (...) cruelty are acts of imaginary, creative activity among others that themselves are form , that is, expressed in physically embodied, objectivated, linguistic or symbolic form, and often become highly stylized, and when socially instituted, have their own spatial and temporal dimensions. In this way, it is distinct from relations of power. (shrink)
Cosmopolitanism, new and newer : Anthony Appiah -- Noam Chomsky's golden rule -- Blaming the system : Immanuel Wallerstein -- The sweatshop sublime -- Edward Said and effort -- Intellectuals in public, or elsewhere -- War without belief : Louis Menand's The Metaphysical Club -- Comparative national blaming : W.G. Sebald and the bombing of Germany.
Theorists in various scientific disciplines offer radically different accounts of the origin of violent behavior in humans, but it is not clear how the study of violence is to be scientifically grounded. This problem is made more complicated because both what sorts of acts constitute violence and what needs to be appealed to in explaining violence differs according to social scientists, biologists, anthropologists and neurophysiologists, and this generates serious problems with respect to even attempting to ascertain the (...) differential bona fides of these various explanatory programs. As a consequence, there is little theoretical reason to suspect that efforts to prevent violence will have any appreciable effect. In this paper we investigate the general issue of whether any of the general theoretical approaches to violent behavior can reasonably be taken to be the best approach to the explanation of seriously violent behavior. Our more specific aim is to examine the controversial explanation of violent behavior offered by Lonnie Athens in order to ascertain whether it can be seriously considered to be the best explanation of violent behavior. (shrink)
The meanings of violence, political violence, and terrorism are briefly discussed. I then consider the responsibilities of the media, especially television, with respect to political violence, including such questions as how violence should be described, and whether the media should cover terrorism. I argue that the media should contribute to decreasing political violence through better coverage of arguments for and against political dissidents'' views, and especially through more and better treatment of nonviolent means of influencing (...) political processes. Since commercial pressures routinely conflict with media responsibility, I argue that society should liberate substantial amounts of culture from such pressures. (shrink)
In contrast to political realism's equation of the `political' with domination, Hannah Arendt understood the `political' as a relation of friendship utterly opposed to the use of violence. This article offers a critique of that understanding. It becomes clear that Arendt's challenge to realism, as exemplified by Max Weber, succeeds on account of a dubious redefinition of the `political' that is the reverse image of the one-sided vision of politics she had hoped to contest. Questioning this paradoxical turn leads (...) to a critique of Arendt's separation of violence and power and, consequently, her attempt to insulate a politics of friendship from one of hostility and coercion. However, political realism is not thereby affirmed. What is required, instead, is a view of the `political' that accepts the interwoven-ness of violence and power but also emphasizes the normative ideals of moderation and care. Key Words: Hannah Arendt enmity friendship moderation the `political' power realism violence Max Weber. (shrink)
Violence is a necessary factor in Frantz Fanon's concept of anti-colonial freedom. What does Fanon mean by violence? Why does he think violence is necessary or good? Is he correct? This article defends the opening statement through an exegesis of primary and secondary literature on Fanon, Jean-Paul Sartre, violence, and freedom. Fanon's The Wretched of the Earth is the central text under analysis. References to Black Skin, White Masks and A Dying Colonialism receive critical scrutiny only (...) in relation to Fanon's overall theory of violence and freedom. I argue that Fanon views violence as intrinsically valuable in the anti-colonial struggle for freedom. (shrink)
: Gandhi can serve as a valuable catalyst allowing us to rethink our philosophical positions on violence, nonviolence, and education. Especially insightful are Gandhi's formulations of the multidimensionality of violence, including educational violence, and the violence of the status quo. His peace education offers many possibilities for dealing with short-term violence, but its greatest strength is its long-term preventative education and socialization. Key to Gandhi's peace education are his ethical and ontological formulations of means-ends relations; (...) the need to uncover root causes and causal determinants and to free oneself from entrapment in escalating cycles of violence; and the dynamic complex relation between relative and absolute truth that includes analysis of situated embodied consciousness, tolerant diversity and inclusiveness, and an approach to unavoidable violence. (shrink)
In his criticisms of the German youth movement and the emergence of fascism across Europe during the early 1920s, Max Scheler draws a distinction between the different senses of political apathy that give rise to mass political movements. Recent studies of mass apathy have tended to treat all forms of apathy as the same and as a consequence reduced the diverse expressions of mass violence to the same, stripping mass movements of any critical function. I show in this paper (...) that Scheler’s distinction provides the means by which to locate the various origins of mass violence and the practical means by which to address this violence that preserves the liberating potential of collective political movements. (shrink)
Abstract. To understand the problem of torture in a democratic society, we have to take up a political-theological perspective. We must ask how violence creates political meaning. Torture is no more destructive and no more illiberal than other forms of political violence. The turn away from torture was not a turn away from violence, but a change in the locus of sacrifice: from scaffold to battlefield. Torture had been a ritual of mediation between sovereign and subject. Once (...) sovereignty is located in the people, it no longer makes sense to speak of being sacrificed for the sovereign. Instead, sovereign presence is now realized in an act of self-sacrifice. The wars of modern nation-states have been acts of reciprocal self-sacrifice. Terror invokes torture in response because both speak a primitive language of political sacrifice, denying the enemy the privilege of self-sacrifice. (shrink)
Too often, identifying practices of silencing is a seemingly impossible exercise. Here I claim that attempting to give a conceptual reading of the epistemic violence present when silencing occurs can help distinguish the different ways members of oppressed groups are silenced with respect to testimony. I offer an account of epistemic violence as the failure, owing to pernicious ignorance, of hearers to meet the vulnerabilities of speakers in linguistic exchanges. Ultimately, I illustrate that by focusing on the ways (...) in which hearers fail to meet speaker dependency in a linguistic exchange, efforts can be made to demarcate the different types of silencing people face when attempting to testify from oppressed positions in society. (shrink)
The dominant narrative today of modern political power, inspired by Foucault, is one that traces the move from the spectacle of the scaffold to the disciplining of bodies whereby the modern political subject, animated by a fundamental fear and the will to live, is promised security in exchange for obedience and productivity. In this essay, I call into question this narrative, arguing that that the modern political imagination, rooted in Hobbes, is animated not by fear but instead by the desire (...) for glory and immortality, a desire that is spectacularly displayed in the violence of the modern battlefield. I go on to argue that Hannah Arendt, writing in the ruins of the Second World War, rethinks the modern legacy of political glory. I claim that Arendt's reflections on violence and glory, which she rethinks from her earliest writings on violence in the 1940s to her later reflections on war in the 1960s, offer the possibility of a new political imagination wherein glory and the desire for immortality is now rooted in the responsibility of bearing an enduring world. (shrink)
: This essay examines the stereotype that transgender people are "deceivers" and the stereotype's role in promoting and excusing transphobic violence. The stereotype derives from a contrast between gender presentation (appearance) and sexed body (concealed reality). Because gender presentation represents genital status, Bettcher argues, people who "misalign" the two are viewed as deceivers. The author shows how this system of gender presentation as genital representation is part of larger sexist and racist systems of violence and oppression.
This paper explores the rationale for violence and coercion aimed at preventing abortion conceived as the killing of an innocent person. Some important arguments for personhood at conception are examined, and in the light of the examination the paper considers whether they warrant concluding that a free and democratic society should pass laws recognizing personhood at conception. The wider concern is what principles such a society should use as a basis for legal coercion and what principles conscientious individuals should (...) use insofar as they judge that self-defense or, especially, protection of the innocent, requires violence. (shrink)
: In this essay, Hutchings contends that Simone de Beauvoir's argument in The Ethics of Ambiguity provides a valuable resource for feminists currently addressing the question of the legitimacy of political violence, whether of the state or otherwise. The reason is not that Beauvoir provides a definitive answer to this question, but rather because of the ways in which she deconstructs it. In enabling her reader to appreciate what is presupposed by a resistant politics that adopts violence as (...) its instrument, Beauvoir illuminates the problems encountered by the kinds of "realistic and positive" and "idealistic and moral" arguments through which the use of violence in politics is routinely justified. At the same time, Beauvoir demonstrates that to deconstruct the question of the legitimacy of violence is neither to banish nor resolve it. She does not offer a recipe for determining the legitimacy or otherwise of the use of violence in politics in general; instead, she illuminates the irremediable difficulty and inescapability of such judgments in a violent and intransigent world. (shrink)
If each age has its particular point of entry to the central political problems of authority, power, and obligation, then the present age has its point of access in the relation among violence, politics, and the law. Ours is an age that has largely replaced its theological underpinnings with political revolutions, while at the same time it has grown skeptical of natural right and natural law claims. If the political order is no longer founded in the theological and is (...) unable to appeal to natural right or natural law, is the political then inescapably rooted in violence? In other words, if founded through violence with no claim to right, is the political order rooted ultimately in the authority of the sword? If .. (shrink)
This article enquires into the understanding of violence, and the place of violence in the understanding of politics, in the work of Michel Foucault and Jacques Derrida. These two engaged in a dispute about the place of violence in their respective philosophical projects. The trajectories of their respective subsequent bodies of thought about power, politics and justice, and the degrees of affirmation or condemnation of the violent nature of reality, language, society and authority, can be analysed in (...) relation to political traditions of realism, radicalism and liberalism. We trace the starting points, and points of convergence and divergence between them, and consider the implications of their work for our capacity to critically judge episodes and uses of violence in political contexts. (shrink)
The purpose of this paper is to establish a proper context for reading Jacques Derrida’s The Gift of Death , which, I contend, can only be understood fully against the backdrop of “Violence and Metaphysics.” The later work cannot be fully understood unless the reader appreciates the fact that Derrida returns to “a certain Abraham” not only in the name of Kierkegaard but also in the name of Levinas himself. The hypothesis of the reading that follows therefore would be (...) that Derrida writes The Gift of Death not as an attempt to re-present Kierkegaard’s Abraham either rightly or wrongly but as an effort to do with Kierkegaard’s Abraham what is possible with his thought in a broadly Levinasian/Derridean framework. That the reading he provides of the Abraham story would not be recognizable to Kierkegaard is not the principal point of Derrida’s effort; his aim is to demonstrate that Levinas should not have been so hasty to dismiss Kierkegaard but could have recovered his interpretation of Abraham for purposes that Derrida and Levinas both share. (shrink)
In this paper, our goal is to (a) survey some of the legal contexts within which violence risk assessment already plays a prominent role, (b) explore whether developments in neuroscience could potentially be used to improve our ability to predict violence, and (c) discuss whether neuropredictive models of violence create any unique legal or moral problems above and beyond the well worn problems already associated with prediction more generally. In Violence Risk Assessment and the Law , (...) we briefly examine the role currently played by predictions of violence in three high stakes legal contexts: capital sentencing ( Violence Risk Assessment and Capital Sentencing ), civil commitment hearings ( Violence Risk Assessment and Civil Commitment ), and sexual predator statutes ( Violence Risk Assessment and Sexual Predator Statutes ). In Clinical vs. Actuarial Violence Risk Assessment , we briefly examine the distinction between traditional clinical methods of predicting violence and more recently developed actuarial methods, exemplified by the Classification of Violence Risk (COVR) software created by John Monahan and colleagues as part of the MacArthur Study of Mental Disorder and Violence . In The Neural Correlates of Psychopathy , we explore what neuroscience currently tells us about the neural correlates of violence, using the recent neuroscientific research on psychopathy as our focus. We also discuss some recent advances in both data collection ( Cutting-Edge Data Collection: Genetically Informed Neuroimaging ) and data analysis ( Cutting-Edge Data Analysis: Pattern Classification ) that we believe will play an important role when it comes to future neuroscientific research on violence. In The Potential Promise of Neuroprediction , we discuss whether neuroscience could potentially be used to improve our ability to predict future violence. Finally, in The Potential Perils of Neuroprediction , we explore some potential evidentiary ( Evidentiary Issues ), constitutional ( Constitutional Issues ), and moral ( Moral Issues ) issues that may arise in the context of the neuroprediction of violence. (shrink)
The paper considers how Mahatma Gandhi?s Law of Ahimsa (or non-violence) can be reconciled with the necessity of violence; some of the strategies that Gandhi adopts in response to this problem are critically examined. Gandhi was willing to use (outward) violence as an expedience (in the sense of necessity), but he was opposed to using non-violence as an expedience. There are two versions of Gandhi?s doctrine. He makes a distinction between outward violence and inner (...) class='Hi'>violence. Both versions grant that outward violence is often necessary and must be administered with compassion. On the more demanding version, outward version is never justified, not even when it is necessary; it is at best excused or pardoned. On the less demanding version, outward violence under certain conditions is justified. (shrink)
I discuss the justification of political violence even within democracies. I define ?violence? and indicate how its evaluative force sometimes has conceptually distorting effects. Though acts of violence are at least prima facie wrong, circumstances can arise where, even in democracies, some of them are morally justified. To establish this, three paradigm cases of non?revolutionary political violence are examined. The question is then discussed whether revolutionary violence is ever justified as a means of establishing or (...) promoting human freedom and happiness. I state the conditions which must be satisfied for such violence to be justified and argue that sometimes these conditions have been satisfied. Finally I argue that discussions of violence are frequently confused by ideological mystification and attempt to go some way towards revealing the sources of that mystification. (shrink)
This paper lays the groundwork for developing a thorough-going phenomenological description of different phenomena of violence such as physical, psychic and structural violence. The overall aim is to provide subject-centered approaches to violence within the social sciences and the humanities with an integrative theoretical framework. To do so, I will draw primarily on the phenomenological accounts of Maurice Merleau-Ponty and Alfred Schutz, and thereby present guiding clues for a phenomenologically grounded theory of violence.
The paper first demonstrates the ability to provode objective data and analyses during war and then examines the need for such objective gathering of data and analysis in the context of mass violence and war, specifically in the 2009 Gaza War. That data and analysis is required to assess compliance with just war norms in assessing the conduct of the war, a framework quite distinct from human rights norms that can misapply and deform the application of norms such as (...) proportionality and obligations not to target civilians. (shrink)
In spite of numerous studies of program outcomes finding little or no positive effect on violent behavior, the Duluth model remains the most common program type of interventions with perpetrators of domestic violence. In addition, Duluth model programs often ignore serious mental health and substance abuse issues present in perpetrators. These and other issues of possible threat to mental health professional ethics are reviewed in light of the court-mandated, compulsory nature of most Duluth model programs and client and victim (...) expectations for program efficacy. (shrink)
This article uses Walter Benjamin's theoretical claims in the 'Critique of violence' to shed light on some current conceptualisations of terrorism. It suggests an understanding of terrorism as an essentially contested concept. If the theorist uncritically adopts the state's account of terrorism, she occludes an important dimension of the phenomenon that allows for a rethinking of the state's claim to a monopoly on legitimate violence. Benjamin's essay conceptualises the state as resulting from a conjunction of violence, law, (...) legitimacy and power that rests on mythical ideas about nature and history. It shows why the state claims to be justified in taking exceptional measures when this link is challenged and when its prerogative to the legitimate use of force is called into question. This, I argue, is what terrorism does. Thus, Benjamin's essay adds to a more nuanced and less one-sided understanding of both terrorism and state violence. (shrink)
Sartre's views on violence have been subject to considerable scholarly discussion over the last decade. At the same time, there has been renewed interest in the issue of structural violence. This paper is an attempt to engage with the two debates. I argue that by highlighting structural violence it is possible to reframe our understanding of how Sartre viewed violence and to demonstrate that Sartre's work remains a useful compass with which to orientate ourselves in a (...) world saturated in violence. I contend that Sartre maintained a broadly consistent line on violence that held in tension the world we live in and the possibility of humanity in the world that we may create. In addition to this temporal dimension, Sartre's thinking on violence oscillated between social scales: between the individual and the collective. Awareness of this methodological double-movement helps clarify and contextualise Sartre's views, and facilitates fruitful re-readings of current scholarship on violence. (shrink)
Rejecting Kant''s absolute opposition to revolution, I propose a modified Kantian perspective for reflecting on political violence, drawing from Kant''s basic ideas but abandoning some dubious assumptions. Developing suggestions in earlier papers, the essay sketches a model for moral legislation that combines the core ideas of each of Kant''s formulas of the Categorical Imperative. Though only a framework for deliberation, not a complete decision procedure, this excludes extremist positions, prohibitive and permissive, about political violence. Despite Kant''s hopes, the (...) values implicit in his fundamental principle fail to support easy, inflexible solutions; but they place strong presumptions against lawless coercion and killing, undermining social order, treating persons as dispensable, underestimating options, arrogant faith in one''s own judgment, and reckless simplicity in political thinking. (shrink)
Hannah Arendt says that "violence is nothing more than the most flagrant manifestation of power." Given this definition, one might expect that violence takes many forms. Numerous writers have, in fact, applied violence to more than direct bodily harm. Within philosophy, Newton Garver, for example, has developed a typology of violence that includes overt and covert forms, as well as personal..
In the present essay I shall attempt three tasks. First, I shall try to illustrate the frequency and contexts in which Sartre associates violence with bad faith. Though focusing primarily on Notebooks for an Ethics, I shall want to show that this connection is hardly confined to that uncompleted and fragmented work. Second, and usually within the same context, I shall aim to make evident the sense or senses in which Sartre ascribes bad faith to violence. For example, (...) what aspects or dimensions of his analysis of bad faith in Being and Nothingness apply here? Third, I want to raise a fundamental question, intended in part to be critical: If, indeed, violence instantiates bad faith, on what grounds can, or does, Sartre justify it on occasion? Given his overall and persistent criticism of bad faith, as well as his embrace of a conversion to authenticity, how can he, in good conscience, strongly endorse, even justify, violence in specified situations? Is there not an inconsistency here? Would not a justification of violence be tantamount to his justifying bad faith in certain circumstances? If so, is not Sartre in bad faith regarding the justification of violence? (shrink)
This essay analyzes why women whose immigration status is dependent on their marriage face higher risks of domestic violence than women who are citizens and explores the factors that collude to prevent acknowledgment of their greater susceptibility to battering. It criticizes elements of current U.S. immigration policy that are detrimental to the welfare of battered immigrant women, and argues for changes that would make immigration policy more sensitive to their plight.
This article examines the responses of two communities to hate crimes in their cities. In particular it explores how community understandings of responsibility shape collective responses to hate crimes. I use the case of Bridesberg, Pennsylvania to explore how anti-racist work is restricted by backward-looking conceptions of moral responsibility (e.g. being responsible). Using recent writings in feminist ethics.(1) I argue for a forward-looking notion that advocates an active view: taking responsibility for attitudes and behaviors that foster climates in which hate (...) crimes are more likely to occur, even when a person's individual actions do not contribute directly to harms. Using the case of Billings, Montana, I explain how recent Not In Our Town campaigns take responsibility for hate crimes in the ways feminist literature suggests. -/- I take as my point of departure hate crimes committed against the family of Bridget Ward, an African American woman, who moved into the suburb of Bridesburg in 1996. When issues of responsibility for racism arose in the local press, most Bridesbergers insisted that their community was not racist; they blamed only the individual vandals. This narrow blame-assigning focus is in keeping with most Anglo-American definitions of responsibility as belonging essentially to individuals and not to communities. Traditionally, moral and legal theory construct responsibility from a perspective that looks downward and back. These perspectives are preoccupied with punishment and reward, praise and blame; they assume justice is done when guilty parties are found and tried. -/- This focus masks deeper community problems. As Elizabeth Spelman remarks, "tolerance is easy if those who are asked to express it need not change a whit." (2) Focus on praise and blame is, in part, a function of race privilege. Bridesberg is 98% white, and part of "the arrogance whitely behavior" is positioning one's self as a judge, expert, and problem solver. (3) The view from this particular subject position limits attention to individuals and their actions, rather than to communities and their practices; it shifts attention away from the fact that Bridesberger's collective practice of distrusting outsiders has lead to hate crimes in the past. Pointing to vandals and claiming "they are racist" does not free one's community of racism. It reinscribes a community spirit that is resistant to change. -/- The second part of this essay explores what communities like Bridesberg might have done to prevent violence. Often there is little individuals alone can do to stop racial violence, but that there is a sense in which community members are obligated to organize themselves. Strategies that focus community responsibility on retribution rather than long-term change, are short lived and ineffective. Anti-racist activism requires a forward-looking view of responsibility: one that aims at inoculating the community against increased risk of violence. This requires taking responsibility for the fact that one's town might foster climates in which hate crimes are more likely to occur. It requires that we begin inquiry in the lives of those harmed. -/- Collective citizen efforts to prevent Aryan groups from gaining a foothold in Billings, Montana offers a clear illustration of how to take responsibility for hate crimes using strategies designed consciously to prevent further hate crimes (e.g., when Black Churches were threatens, all community members attended services there; when a rock was thrown through a window with a menorah, many homes displayed menorahs). The community responses in Billings are a stark contrast to those of Bridesburg, and serve as a powerful example of how forward-looking notions of responsibility can translate into effective political strategy. Although, these strategies are not in and of themselves feminist, they are powerful illustrations of what feminists mean by forward-looking views. The success of resident's collective action and coalition building gave rise to a national Not In Our Town campaign used in about a dozen cities today. (shrink)
Although my position is in basic agreement with the notion that war and militarism are feminist issues, I argue that approaches to the ethics of war and peace which do not consider "peacetime" military violence are inadequate for feminist and environmentalist concerns. Because much of the military violence done to women and ecosystems happens outside the boundaries of declared wars, feminist and environmental philosophers ought to emphasize the significance of everyday military violence.
Basing its understanding on the two uses of the notion of violence in Honneth’s theory of recognition, this paper aims at developing a framework for the analysis of the thesis of the moral justification of political violence, whenever forms of political violence can be defined as legitimate struggles of recognition. Its contention is that the requalification of some forms of collective violence as recognition conflicts makes it possible to establish a hierarchy of justification for forms of (...)violence which cannot be constructed through a priori criteria, but should rather be the result of a descriptive social philosophy enquiry. (shrink)
This essay explores philosophical questions about practical identity that emerge in David Cronenberg's films, "A History of Violence" and "Eastern Promises." I distinguish the metaphysical problems of personal identity from the practical problems and contend that the latter are of central importance to the topic of authenticity. Central scenes from both films are examined with an eye to their engagement with the issues of authenticity and self-creation.
The authors argue that the 'war on terror' marks the ultimate convergence of war with politics, and the virtual collapse of any meaningful distinction between them. Not only does it signify the breakdown of international relations norms but also the militarization of internal life and political discourse. They explore the 'genealogy' of this situation firstly through the notion of the 'state of exception'—in which sovereign violence becomes indistinct from the law that is supposed to curtail it—and secondly through Foucault's (...) idea that politics is essentially a form of warfare. They suggest that these two ways of approaching the question of violence can only be understood through a racist dimension, which forms the hidden underside of the 'war on terrorism'. In other words, our contemporary situation is characterized by the mobilization not only of fundamentalist and conservative ideologies, but, increasingly, racial antagonisms and prejudices directed towards the Muslim other. (shrink)
The association between media literacy and media ethics is discussed in this essay, and data gathered from a media literacy study with 93 public school 6th-grade students are presented. The study details the introduction and evaluation of a media literacy program that was intended to encourage learning and critical thinking about media violence, using a selection of "high-risk" portrayal factors as a foundation. Statistical comparisons between preprogram and postprogram responses and between those participating and those in a control group (...) show some increases in the comprehension of key concepts used in the study of media violence and critical thinking about the topic. Open-ended responses also demonstrate enhanced sophistication in analyzing media violence after participating in the program. (shrink)
In this article, I consider the moment where speech becomes violent because it wants to name at any price - something that can be felt as a desire in speech, a tension of creation and destruction. I discuss Habermas' theory of communicative action and the propositional conception of truth that underpins it. That conception of truth can be contrasted to the theory of truth as event, as it has been developed by Alain Badiou. A similarity between Badiou's theory of truth (...) and the latent utopianism of Adorno's negative dialectics shows that, for contemporary philosophy, the first phase of Frankfurt School theorising remains important. A philosophy that is able to 'motivate and guide the will' (Habermas) needs to include a non-propositional conception of truth; only with a non-propositional conception of truth can we articulate what is involved in communicative violence and come to understand what the place of what cannot be said is, in thought as well as in private, social and political life. (shrink)
Four issues relevant to sex differences in human aggression and violence are considered. (1) The motivation for play and serious aggression in children and juvenile animals is different. Consequently, the evolutionary explanations for each may be different. (2) Sex differences in intrasexual aggression may be due to effects of the attacker or the target. There is evidence that both males and females are more physically aggressive against males and less physically aggressive against females. The evolutionary explanation for each component (...) of the sex difference in intrasexual aggression may be different. (3) Aggression and violence are defined. The former is the attack, and the latter is the consequent injury or death. The evolutionary explanation for each may not be the same. (4) Most men and women are neither physically aggressive nor criminally violent. The evolutionary explanations of sex differences in aggression and violence should take this polymorphism into account. (shrink)
This article investigates a significant problem in contemporary critical theory, namely its failure to address effectively the possibility that a campaign of political violence may be a legitimate means of fighting grave injustice. Having offered a working definition of 'political violence', I argue that critical theory should be focused on experiences of in justice rather than on ideals of justice. I then explore the reasons as to why, save for some intriguing remarks on retrospective legitimation, J rgen Habermas (...) has not addressed this issue directly. While Axel Honneth's recognition theory may have greater potential here, the absence of explicit consideration of the matter by him leaves considerable work to do. I introduce five questions in the concluding section that provide a starting point in setting out an appropriately stringent, normative test for claims that support violent action against injustice. (shrink)
What is terrorism? How is it different from other kinds of political violence? Why exactly is it wrong? Why is war often thought capable of being justified? On what grounds should we judge when the use of violence to be morally acceptable? It is often thought that using violence to uphold and enforce the rule of law can be justified, that violence used in self-defense is acceptable, and that some liberation movements can be excused for using (...)violence--but that terrorism is always wrong. How persuasive are these arguments, and on what bases should we judge them? -/- How Terrorism is Wrong collects articles by Virginia Held that offer a moral assessment of various forms of political violence, with terrorism the focus of much of the discussion. Here and throughout, Held examines possible causes discussed, including the connection between terrorism and humiliation. Held also considers military intervention, conventional war, intervention to protect human rights, violence to prevent political change, and the status and requirements of international law. She looks at the cases of Rwanda, Kosovo, Iraq, and the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. Finally, she explores questions of who has legitimate authority to engage in justifiable uses of violence, whether groups can be responsible for ethnic violence, and how the media should cover terrorism. -/- Held discusses appropriate ways of engaging in moral evaluation and improving our moral recommendations concerning the uses of violence. Just war theory has been developed for violence between the military forces of conflicting states, but much contemporary political violence is not of this kind. Held considers the guidance offered by such traditional moral theories as Kantian ethics and utilitarianism, and also examines what the newer approach of the ethics of care can contribute to our evaluations of violence. Care is obviously antithetical to violence since violence destroys what care takes pains to build; but the ethics of care recognizes that violence is not likely to disappear from human affairs, and can offer realistic understandings of how best to reduce it. (shrink)
In spite of numerous studies of program outcomes finding little or no positive effect on violent behavior, the Duluth model remains the most common program type of interventions with perpetrators of domestic violence. In addition, Duluth model programs often ignore serious mental health and substance abuse issues present in perpetrators. These and other issues of possible threat to mental health professional ethics are reviewed in light of the court-mandated, compulsory nature of most Duluth model programs and client and victim (...) expectations for program efficacy. (shrink)
Traditional disciplinary guidelines are inadequate to address some of the ethical dilemmas that emerge when conducting research on violence against women and girls. This article is organized according to the ethical principles of respect for persons, privacy and confidentiality, justice, beneficence, and nonmaleficence. In the article, I describe dilemmas involved in cross-cultural research, research on children, informed consent, voluntariness, coercion, deception, safety, mandated reporting, and dissemination. In the article, I include examples from qualitative and quantitative studies in many nations. (...) I also offer suggestions for researchers and institutional review boards. (shrink)
There is a sort of natural closeness between Sartre and violence. Many have claimed that Sartre was fascinated by violence. Authors as diverse as Michel-Antoine Burnier and Mohamed Harbi have criticised the violence in Sartre, and even Bernard-Henri Lévy sees in Sartre's preface to Fanon's Les Damnés de la Terre a 'Sartre possédé'. Unlike these authors, we claim that Sartre was in no way fascinated by violence. In his eyes, violence was an historical fact that (...) was characteristic of his time and which he, personally, discovered at an early age. What is more, Sartre's violence is situational. If he discovered the world in books, it was also in books that he discovered violence. Books and history were the melting pots of a violence that haunts Sartre's work. The historical situations in which he found himself explain the omnipresence of violence in his work. (shrink)
Legal and ethical issues arise for clinicians working with female clients who are survivors of domestic violence and who have children. Statistics indicate that children of 30%-80% of such women are also abused. Disclosure by an abused woman of concurrent child abuse creates an ethical dilemma for the clinician involving adherence to mandatory reporting laws and the ethical duty to protect vs. ethical issues of confidentiality and respect for client autonomy. Potential resolution of this dilemma incorporates core tenets of (...) feminist theory. A hypothetical scenario illustrating the ethical dilemma is provided, and some practical guidelines for its resolution, although not yet empirically tested, are outlined. (shrink)
This article examines the concept of violence in contemporary political theory focusing in particular on the possibility of rethinking the relationship between violence and democracy. Rather than seeing democracy and violence as contrasting concepts, it argues that democratic societies have always been founded on the basis of violent engagement at some level. And, of course, the modern state has always claimed the legitimate use of force as a key ingredient in its authority. The article contends that many (...) contemporary democratic discourses have lost sight of the integral relationship between democracy and violence. Indeed it is frequently the case that discourses of democracy are couched in ethical terms as the obverse of violence. Ironically, this trend is often most apparent where societies are either making a transition to democracy or where a process of conflict transformation is taking place. The limitations of these approaches for our understanding of violence and democracy will be outlined in this article through an examination of contemporary political developments in Northern Ireland. (shrink)
The question of the imperatives induced by the Gandhian concept of non-violence towards animals is an issue that has been neglected by specialists on the thinking of the Mahatma. The aim of this article is to highlight the systematic – and significant – character of this particular aspect of his views on non-violence. The first part introduces the theoretical foundations of the duty of non-violence towards animals in general. Gandhi's critical interpretation of cow-protection, advocated by Hinduism, leads (...) to a general reflection on the duty of non-violence towards animals, the cow being transformed into the representative of all dumb creation. The approach adopted by Gandhi to solving the problem of cow-protection focuses on its practical dimensions and is based primarily on reforming animal husbandry. What limits should be imposed on the exploitation of farm animals within the framework of non-violence? Gandhi devoted nearly 30 years to elaborating an animal husbandry system that would be both economically viable and in conformity with the universal ethical principles he drew from religions (especially Hinduism). The interdiction to kill is absolute, since Gandhi not only rejects the breeding of farm animals for the purposes of butchery but also the slaughtering of animals that are no longer capable of providing the services required of them. He therefore concentrated his efforts on drawing up a scheme to reorganize this activity on a national scale while taking into consideration these constraints, which are less contradictory than they may seem to be at first sight. Reviewing the age-old activity of animal husbandry in the light of non-violence is clearly based on the specific nature of Hindu traditions. However, it goes far beyond cultural or religious relativism, since it is also founded on universal ethical principles. (shrink)
I argue that the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), as an organization and through its individual members, can and should be a far greater ally in the prevention of violence against women. Specifically, I argue that we need to pay attention to obstetrical practices that inadvertently contribute to the problem of violence against women. While intimate partner violence is a complex phenomenon, I focus on the coercive control of women and adherence to oppressive gender norms. (...) Using physician response to alcohol use during pregnancy and court-ordered medical treatment as examples, I show how some obstetrical practices mirror the attitudes of abusive men insofar as they try to coercively control women's behavior through manipulation and violence. To be greater allies in the prevention of violence against women, obstetricians should stop participating in practices that inadvertently perpetuate violence against women. (shrink)
Fostering shame in societies may not curb violence, because shame is alienating. The person experiencing shame may not care enough about others to curb violent instincts. Furthermore, men may be less shame-prone than are women. Finally, if shame is too prevalent in a society, perpetrators may be reluctant to talk about their actions and motives, if indeed they know their own motives. We may be unable accurately to discover how perpetrators think about their own violence.
We are more alike than we are different.In male prisons, the agency and antisocial mindset of violent offenders is taken seriously in the pursuit of rehabilitation. Male offenders are expected to own full agency for their cruelty and violence to others, and to explore it in supported rehabilitative group-work programs. Such programs have been shown to be highly effective for some offenders and relate to a process of engaging with a new pro-social identity and taking responsibility for leading a (...) "good life."Such programs hardly exist for violent women. Psychological services in female prisons rarely offer programs on anger management or opportunities to explore the wish to hurt or control; rather, they emphasize .. (shrink)
Hospital-based professionals who manage cases of family violence are often unclear about the benefits and costs of particular interventions to their clients. Operating under conditions of potential lethality, both to them and family members, clinicians often experience conflict between legal and ethical recommendations or between strategies intended to provide safety to victims of domestic (spousal) violence and those meant to protect children from abuse. This article presents a situation of family violence and the dilemmas of decision-making confronting (...) both social worker and lawyer. It discusses such issues as professional role, reporting requirements, and duties to warn, emphasizing the difficulty of implementing a plan and of predicting its consequences. It recommends substantive and procedural guidelines that may help protect victims while allowing professionals to emotionally sustain themselves during the management ordeal. (shrink)
Aggression, violence, and cruelty are symptoms of psychiatric illness. They reflect abnormalities in the regulation of the stress and emotion circuitries. The functioning of these circuitries depends upon the interaction between genetics and environment. Abuse and neglect during infancy, as well as maternal stress and poor quality of maternal care, are some of the causes that produce these types of abnormal behavior. Research on the neurobiological bases of emotion regulation will allow the detection of the population at risk.
It has recently been discovered that propranolol—a beta-blocker traditionally used to treat cardiac arrhythmias and hypertension—might disrupt the formation of the emotionally disturbing memories that typically occur in the wake of traumatic events and consequently prevent the onset of trauma-induced psychological injuries such as Post-traumatic Stress Disorder. One context in which the use of propranolol is generating interest in both the popular and scientific press is sexual violence. Nevertheless, feminists have so far not weighed in on propranolol. I suggest (...) that the time is ripe for a careful feminist analysis of the moral and political implications of propranolol use in the context of sexual violence. In this paper, I map the feminist issues potentially raised by providing propranolol to victims of sexual assault, focusing in particular on the compatibility of propranolol use and availability with an understanding of the social and systematic dimensions of rape's harms. I do not deliver a final verdict on propranolol; in fact, I show that we do not yet have enough information about propranolol's effects to do so. Rather, I provide a feminist framework for evaluating the possibilities and perils opened up by therapeutic memory manipulation in the context of sexual violence against women. (shrink)
With reference to examples of violence during Apartheid, I argue that the socio-political contexts in which violence occurs significantly shape agents ideas about and responses to violence. As such, philosophers can only make sense of why perpetrators and bystanders alike may have judged violent acts morally justifiable or failed to challenge instances of violence against the backdrop of the particular characteristics of the socio-political context in which it occurs.
This article recalls Derrida's reading of Levinasian ethics as a discourse of the other, particularly in ‘Violence and Metaphysics’, in order to re-elaborate Derrida's own account of the other's heterogeneity, notably in light of critiques of deconstruction's thinking of difference, alterity, and the unconditional. At stake here is the precise meaning of what may be termed wholly other; or, better still, the specific nature of the arguments about the question of the other from among Derrida's earlier texts, which must (...) be recalled amidst any appeal to absolute alterity, especially of the kind frequently found in Derrida commentary today. The article suggests that, in the process of Derrida reading Levinas, the radical alterity of the other is sustained in ‘Violence and Metaphysics’ principally in terms of the legitimacy (or ‘discipline’) of a question that arises only on the hither side of a phenomenology of the other – a phenomenology that emerges, nonetheless, as its unacknowledged ground. Thus, in contrast to Levinasian thought (and yet also in deeper affinity with what we might term, for Derrida, its still obscured originality), deconstruction's discourse of the other opens onto the wholly other not simply as the ‘beyond’ or the ‘outside’ of phenomenology's limits, but only at the point where the phenomenological gives way in something like a double sense. (shrink)