Violence and Meaning

Springer Verlag (2019)
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This edited collection explores the problem of violence from the vantage point of meaning. Taking up the ambiguity of the word ‘meaning’, the chapters analyse the manner in which violence affects and in some cases constitutes the meaningful structure of our lifeworld, on individual, social, religious and conceptual levels. The relationship between violence and meaning is multifaceted, and is thus investigated from a variety of different perspectives within the continental tradition of philosophy, including phenomenology, post-structuralism, critical theory and psychoanalysis. Divided into four parts, the volume explores diverging meanings of the concept of violence, as well as transcendent or religious violence- a form of violence that takes place between humanity and the divine world. Going on to investigate instances of immanent and secular violence, which occur at the level of the group, community or society, the book concludes with an exploration of violence and meaning on the individual level: violence at the level of the self, or between particular persons. With its focus on the manifold of relations between violence and meaning, as well as its four part focus on conceptual, transcendent, immanent and individual violence, the book is both multi-directional and multi-layered.



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Torturous Violence: A Phenomenological Approach to the Violence in the Acts of Torture

Following in the phenomenological tradition, I aim to ground my chapter in the lived experience of a particular form of violence: torture. Torture, and likewise torturous violence, is a phenomenon that crosses both the immanent and the individual thresholds of violence. As such, it reveals unique co... see more

Forming the Individual: Castoriadis and Lacan on the Socio-symbolic Function of Violence

This chapter explores the ways in which Jacques Lacan and Cornelius Castoriadis understand the role that violence plays in the formation of the individual. While the majority of the literature tends to focus on their accounts of the symbolic and imaginary to highlight the differences between them, t... see more

Oppressed by Shame: From Auschwitz to a Politics of Revolt

As part of its rejection of the mind-body split, phenomenology rejects the idea that thought and affect are severed from each other. As lived bodies we are affective thinkers, emotionally attuned to and engaged with the world and others. Pursuing this phenomenological attention to affect, this chapt... see more

The Last Second, or Eternity: Ernst Jünger Looking at Photographs of the First World War

In the late 1920s and early 1930s, the famous German writer Ernst Jünger contributed to the publication of a couple of photography books. These collections of photographic images and essays, written by various authors, dealt with themes including war, sacrifice, death, violence, heroism and Luchtfah... see more

The Double Meanings of Violence: Catharsis and Mimesis

What is the meaning of violence in a world dominated by violent representations that appear to be utterly deprived of meaning? Does an affective participation in a violent scene—say a war movie or a computer game—serve as a therapy that purifies the subject of violent affects? Or do such representat... see more

Is Violence Inescapable? Derrida, Religion, and the Irreducibility of Violence

This chapter interprets Derrida’s understanding of religion and violence in his 1998 “Faith and Knowledge” through his critique of “meaning” in his 1967 “Violence and Metaphysics.” This is done in order to arrive at a deeper, yet often overlooked observation—that “meaning” and “signification” themse... see more

The Violence of the Singular

The dominant model to understand the social meaning of violence relates the manifestations of violent acts to the power and the effects of a general entity, for instance, the state, capitalism, globalization. This model seems to be able to explain the most important manifestations of violence in mod... see more

Reflections on the Meanings of Religious Violence: A Phenomenological Exploration

This chapter sets out to demonstrate that phenomenology offers us a viable framework to productively think through the vexed relation between religion and violence. I hypothesize that this correlation needs to be reconsidered in a threefold perspective in order to avoid reductionist conceptions of “... see more

The Temporality of Violence: Destruction, Dissolution and the Construction of Sense

Violence tends to the destruction of meaningful entities and of that through which such entities are meaningful. Not all violence is annihilating in its effects, but violence aims towards a nothingness which discloses a certain fragility of meaning. The obliteration of the singular, the reduction of... see more

Violence and Essentialism?

Both philosophers and non-philosophers often have the impression that the concept of violence has an essence, that is, one or more properties that are characteristic of all violence and only violence. In this chapter, it is shown that characteristics of damage, morally wrong and intention cannot be ... see more

Violence As Metaphor

Describing an action or a state of affairs as a form of violence is usually shorthand for condemning whatever falls under that description. However, precisely because the concept of violence is taken to have a special kind of moral force, it is prone to conceptual inflation. In this chapter, I argue... see more

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Violence and image.Cristian Ciocan - 2021 - Continental Philosophy Review 54 (3):331-348.

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