Individuality and Source of Violence

Abstract

This is a (very) introductory paper to a forthcoming existentalist account of moral absolutism and violence. It was written for and presented at ICPR Seminar 2018. In feminist ethics, the freedom to choose one's way of living is primary to the struggle against patriarchy. Such a choice to live a certain way is a manifestation of one's individuality. This assertion of individuality is accompanied by responsibility towards consequences of the way of living. To explore the relation between individuality and responsibility, I develop and build the hypothetical situation of a mother and daughter with different ways of living. The notion of a good life for each of them is mentioned and we ask: To what extent is the daughter responsible for the anguish that the mother undergoes in her assertion of individuality (through her choice of way of living)? My primary aim in this paper is to question the nature of individuality and to probe the claim that individuality is a source of violence. This will involve discussing the scope of responsibility for one's choices and the difficulty in forming a criterion to delineate such a scope.

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Sahana Rajan
O P Jindal Global University

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