Carl Schmitt’s two concepts of humanity

Philosophy and Social Criticism 36 (8):917-934 (2010)
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A dominant interpretation of Carl Schmitt’s work depicts him as a theologically inspired and anti-humanist thinker. This article argues, however, that his concept of the political, founded on a plea for relative instead of absolute enmity, takes Schmitt away from theology onto a profane level, where enemies recognize each other as human beings. Although Schmitt states that whoever invokes the concept of humanity wants to deceive, one can trace in his work a distinction between two concepts of humanity, which gives a philosophical foundation for the distinction between relative and absolute enmity, and, thus, for the political. It is at the basis of a minimally normative understanding of the political which can be of great interest for contemporary debates on the contemporary world order



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The Legal World Revolution.Carl Schmitt - 1987 - Telos: Critical Theory of the Contemporary 1987 (72):73-89.

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