Law and Evil opens, expands and deepens our understanding of the phenomenon of evil by addressing the theoretical relationship between this phenomenon and law. Hannah Arendt said 'the problem of evil will be the fundamental question of post-war intellectual life in Europe'. This statement is, unfortunately, more than valid in the contemporary world: not only in the events of war, crimes against humanity, terror, repression, criminality, violence, torture, human trafficking, and so on; but also as evil is used rhetorically to condemn these acts, to categorise their perpetrators, and to justify forcible measures, both in international and domestic politics and law.
But what is evil? Evil as a concept is too often taken as something that is self-evident, something that is always already defined. Taking Kant’s concept of radical evil as a starting point, this volume counters such a tendency. Bringing together philosophical, political, and psychoanalytical perspectives, in analysing both the concept and the phenomenon of evil, the contributors to this volume offer a rich and thoroughgoing analysis of the multifaceted phenomenon of evil and its relationship to law.
Table of Contents
Introduction Part I: Freedom 1. Eden/Shangri-La, Angus McDonald 2. Tragedy and evil. From Hölderlin to Heidegger, Françoise Dastur 3. Interrupting evil and the evil of interruption- revisiting the question of freedom, Marcia Sá Cavalcante Schuback 4. Wickedness inscribed in freedom – Jean-Luc Nancy on evil, Sami Santanen 5. Arche-Evil. Derrida’s Philosophy Explained through the Concept of Evil, Jari Kauppinen Part II: Terror 6. Hell on earth. Hannah Arendt in the face of Hitler, Jacob Rogozinski 7. Total evil. The Law under totalitarianism, Ari Hirvonen 8. The Birth of terrorism out of the spirit of Enlightenment – The Subject of Enlightenment and the terrorist sensorium, Artemy Magun 9. The Catechism of the Citizen – Politics, law and religion in, after, with and against Rousseau, Simon Critchley Part III: Desire 10. What’s so funny about Infinite Justice, Janne Porttikivi 11. Moralization interrupted. On Lacan’s thesis of the Supreme Good as radical evil, Maec de Kesel 12. When psychoanalysis meets Law and Evil. Perversion and Psychopathy in the Forensic Clinic, Jochem Willemsen and Paul Verhaeghe 13. ‘That which in life might prefer death…’ From the death drive to the desire of the analyst, Véronique Voruz
Ari Hirvonen is Adjunct Professor in Philosophy of Law at the University of Helsinki; Senior Researcher at the Centre of Excellence in Foundations of European Law and Polity Research, the Academy of Finland. He has published texts on philosophy, psychoanalysis, art, legal and political philosophy, and Greek tragedy.
Janne Porttikivi is a translator and independent researcher, based in Helsinki. He has published articles on psychoanalysis, literature and philosophy. Porttikivi has co-edited and co-translated Derrida’s collection of essays and co-translated Žižek’s reader in Finnish.