Do the various ascriptions of “violence,” e.g., to rape, logical reasoning, racist legislation, unqualified statements, institutions of class and/or gender inequity, etc., mean something identically the same, something analogous, or equivocal and context-bound? This paper argues for both an analogous sense as well as an exemplary essence and finds support in Aristotle’s theory of anger as, as Sokolowski has put it, a form of moral annihilation, culminating in a level of rage that crosses a threshold. Here we adopt Sartre’s analysis of the “threshold of violence” as indicating a basic “existential” possibility wherein persons may and do adopt a posture of anti-god. This has considerable symmetry with the mythic and theological figure in the Abrahamic religions who is called “Lucifer.” This personage, at a unique timeless moment, found himself empowered to assume the right to exercise an infinite will-act which tolerated no superior normative perspective. I argue that this mythic stance is a live option for persons. Further, modern day nation-state military preparedness, where nuclear weaponry is a major tool of foreign policy, is a way of putting on ice and holding in reserve, but button ready, the onto-logical madness of the Luciferian moment.
violence, moral and ontological annihilation, luciferism, Other, Aristotle, Sartre, Sokolowski
How to cite
Hart, James G. “From Moral Annihilation to Luciferism: Aspects of a Phenomenology of Violence.” Eidos. A Journal for Philosophy of Culture 1, no. 1 (2017): 39–60. https://doi.org/10.26319/EIDOS-001-PHENOMENOLOGY-OF-VIOLENCE.
James G. Hart
Indiana University, Bloomington Indiana, USA
Aquinas, Thomas, Summa Theolgiae.
Aristotle. Nichomachean Ethics.
Blondel, Maurice. La Philosophie et l’Esprit chrétien, Vol. I. Paris: PUF, 1946.
Darwall, Stephen. The Second- Person Standpoint. London: Oxford University Press, 1968.
Gilligan, James. Preventing Violence. London: Thanes & Hudson, 2001.
Gilligan, James. Violence: Reflections on a National Epidemic. New York: Random House, Vintage, 1996.
Hart, James G. Who One Is, Book 2: Existenz and Transcendental Phenomenology. Dordrecht: Springer, 2009.
Hart, James G. The Person and the Common Life. Dordrecht: Kluwer, 1992.
Hart, James G. Who One is, Book 1: A Meontology of the “I”. Dordrecht: Springer, 2009.
Henry, Michel. C’est moi, la verité. Paris: Éditions du Seuil, 1996.
Henry, Michel. From Communism to Capitalism. Translated by Scott Davidson. London: Bloomsbury Academic Press, 2014.
Husserl, Edmund. Grenzprobleme der Phänomenologie, Husserliana XLII. Dordrecht: Springer, 2014.
Kierkegaard, Søren. Sickness Unto Death.
Kohut, Heinz. The Restoration of the Self. New York: International Universities Press, 1977.
Kraut, Richard, Aristotle on the Human Good. Princeton University Press, 1989.
Lavelle, Louis. Dilemma of Narcissus. Translated by William Gairdner. London: George Allen and Unwin, 1973.
Ricoeur, Paul. History and Truth. Translated by Charles Kelbley. Evanston: Northwestern University Press, 1965.
Sartre, Jean-Paul. Notebooks for an Ethics. Translated by David Pellauer. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1992.
Sokolowski, Robert. “Honor, Anger, and Belittlement in Aristotle’s Ethics.” Studia Gilsonia 3 (2014): 221–240.
Sokolowski, Robert. Moral Action a Phenomenological Study. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1985.
Staudigl, Michael. Phänomenologie der Gewalt. Dordrecht: Kluwer, 2015.
Open Access Statement
This is an open access journal which means that all content is freely available without charge to the user or his/her institution. Users are allowed to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of the articles, or use them for any other lawful purpose, without asking prior permission from the publisher or the author, as long as the author and original source are properly cited. This is in accordance with the BOAI definition of open access.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. Submitting a text to Eidos. A Journal for Philosophy of Culture means that the author agrees with the general conditions of this license without losing his or her copyright to the text.