New demons : rethinking power and evil today - download pdf or read online

By Simona Forti

ISBN-10: 0804786240

ISBN-13: 9780804786249

ISBN-10: 080479295X

ISBN-13: 9780804792950

ISBN-10: 0804792984

ISBN-13: 9780804792981

As lengthy as we care approximately agony on this planet, says political thinker Simona Forti, we're forced to inquire into the query of evil. yet is the concept that of evil nonetheless priceless in a postmodern panorama the place absolute values were leveled and relativized through a historicist point of view? Given our present unwillingness to pass judgement on others, what signposts stay to steer our moral behavior?

Surveying the 19th- and twentieth-century Western philosophical debates on evil, Forti concludes that it's time to depart in the back of what she calls "the Dostoevsky paradigm": the dualistic imaginative and prescient of an all-powerful monster pitted opposed to absolute, helpless sufferers. now not able to greedy the normalization of evil in present day world—whose buildings of strength were transformed—this paradigm has exhausted its explanatory force.

In its position, Forti bargains a distinct family tree of the connection among evil and gear, one who ultimately calls into query power's recurrent hyperlink to transgression. on the heart of latest evil she posits the passive angle in the direction of rule-following, the necessity for normalcy, and the need for obedience nurtured through our modern mass democracies. In our occasions, she contends, evil has to be explored in tandem with our obdurate wish to remain alive in any respect expenditures up to with our deep desire for reputation: the recent glossy absolutes. A brave ebook, New Demons extends an unique, inspiring name to moral dwelling in a biopolitical age.

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Extra resources for New demons : rethinking power and evil today

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You are just the man that’s needed. It’s just such a man as you that I need. I know no one but you. ”61 Even in the face of his interlocutor’s dismay, Verkhovensky does not give up. He reveals his plan for Stavrogin to act as an unreal yet all-powerful ghost, by making use of his aloof, icy charisma: “We shall penetrate to the peasantry. Our party does not consist only of those who commit murder and arson[. . ] Listen. I’ve reckoned them all up: a teacher who laughs with children at their God and at their cradle; is on our side.

Expressed in Kantian terms, there is no possibility for wicked actions, namely, actions that follow from the desire of individuals who incorporate the transgression of the moral law into their maxim as the prime incentive. 29 He appears to perform a supreme act of denial with his philosophy against the very thing he was able to grasp with his intuition. ”30 If that were the case, we would be dealing—he argues—with a principle that is external to freedom, in the sense of a power that “takes possession” of human beings and drags them along with a diabolical, seductive force, making them impervious to the power of the disposition to good.

The dialog in part II, chapter 8, between Pyotr Verkhovensky—who impersonates Nechayev—and Nikolai Stavrogin—a fearsome tyrant over other people’s minds—reads as an extreme, parodied version of the main points of the “Catechism,” in which the revolutionary outlook of the nihilists is transfigured into Shigalovism. 57 It is a doctrine that preaches universal equality, but that is achieved partly through everybody spying on everybody else. Every member of the society spies on all the others, and it is his duty to inform against them.

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New demons : rethinking power and evil today by Simona Forti


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