Thomasfest lecture on torture by Prof. Jay Bernstein April 14
"Torture and Moral Modernity"
The Philosophy Department Presents
April 14, 2011
Torture and Moral Modernity
University Distinguished Professor
New School for Social Research
My hypothesis is that moral modernity, including political modernity, is founded on the series of acts whereby, throughout Europe, torture was banned. Torture became the paradigm of moral injury, of what must never be done to an individual because it is intrinsically degrading and devaluing: it harms the human status as such by intentionally harming the present bodily exemplification of it. I shall track this claim first historically and then more extensively, following Jean Améry’s account of his torture by the Nazis, phenomenologically. I take the phenomenology of torture to be the reactivation of its now lost historical origin – lost not to memory, but to historically effective consciousness.
Jay M. Bernstein is the University Distinguished Professor at the New School for Social Research. Since receiving his Ph.D. from the University Edinburgh in 1975, Bernstein has gone on to publish on an array of topics related to Aesthetics, Critical Theory, the Frankfurt School, and Hegelian philosophy. Bernstein’s work on Adorno has been characterized as marking a watershed moment in the critical reception of Adorno’s philosophy. Currently, he is completing a monograph on Torture and Dignity, and he recently published a series of thought provoking opinion pieces for The New York Times philosophy blog The Stone. His publications also include: Against Voluptuous Bodies: Adorno’s Late Modernism and the Meaning of Painting (Stanford, 2007); Classical and Romantic German Aesthetics (editor, Cambridge, 2002); Adorno: Disenchantment and Ethics (Cambridge, 2002); Recovering Ethical Life: Jürgen Habermas and the Future of Critical Theory (Routledge, 1995); The Fate of Art (PennState, 1992).
Location: CLC 412
Thomasfest lecture on torture by Prof. Jay Bernstein
|Time:||6:30 PM until 8:00 PM|
|Date:||Thursday, April 14|
|Location:||Conaton Learning Commons 412|
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