Richard J. Bernstein · ISBN 9780745670645
Violence | Zookal Textbooks | Zookal Textbooks
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Publisher John Wiley & Sons (UK)
Author(s) Richard J. Bernstein
Subtitle Thinking without Banisters
Edition 1
Published 31st May 2013
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Thinking without Banisters

We live in a time when we are overwhelmed with talk and images of
violence. Whether on television, the internet, films or the video
screen, we can?t escape representations of actual or
fictional violence - another murder, another killing spree in a
high school or movie theatre, another action movie filled with
images of violence. Our age could well be called ?The Age of
Violence? because representations of real or imagined
violence, sometimes fused together, are pervasive. But what do we
mean by violence? What can violence achieve? Are there limits to
violence and, if so, what are they?

In this new book Richard Bernstein seeks to answer these questions
by examining the work of five figures who have thought deeply about
violence - Carl Schmitt, Walter Benjamin, Hannah Arendt, Frantz
Fanon, and Jan Assmann. He shows that we have much to learn from
their work about the meaning of violence in our times. Through the
critical examination of their writings he also brings out the
limits of violence. There are compelling reasons to commit
ourselves to non-violence, and yet at the same time we have to
acknowledge that there are exceptional circumstances in which
violence can be justified. Bernstein argues that there can be no
general criteria for determining when violence is justified. The
only plausible way of dealing with this issue is to cultivate
publics in which there is free and open discussion and in which
individuals are committed to listen to one other: when public
debate withers, there is nothing to prevent the triumph of
murderous violence.


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