Hypatia

Hypatia
Volume 18, Number 1, Winter 2003
Special Issue: Feminist Philosophy and the Problem of Evil


Contents

Articles

    Denike, Margaret Ann, 1961-
  • The Devil's Insatiable Sex: A Genealogy of Evil Incarnate
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    Subject Headings:
    • Witchcraft -- History.
    • Women -- Legal status, laws, etc. -- History.
    • Demonology -- History.
    Abstract:
      This paper traces the political economy of the Christian concept of "evil" incarnate and its concomitant operations of sexual abjection and the repudiation of femininity, beginning with the early church's inaugural struggles to impose its monotheistic Law against maternal paganism. With attention to how "evil" has been deployed to sanction and sanctify the persecution of scapegoats, and particularly of heretics and witches, I examine the masculinist struggles for jurisdiction and control over women.
    Jaarsma, Ada S.
  • Irigaray's To Be Two: The Problem of Evil and the Plasticity of Incarnation
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    Subject Headings:
    • Irigaray, Luce. Essere due.
    • Existential psychology.
    • Feminist theory.
    Abstract:
      Increasingly, feminist theorists, such as Alison Martin and Ellen T. Armour, are attending to the numerous religious allusions within texts by Luce Irigaray. Engaging with this scholarship, this paper focuses on the problematic of evil that is elaborated within Irigarayan texts. Mobilizing the work of Catherine Malabou, the paper argues that Malabou's methodology of reading, which she identifies as "plastic," illuminates the logic at work within Irigaray's deployment of sacred stories.
    Card, Claudia.
  • Genocide and Social Death
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    Subject Headings:
    • Genocide -- Sociological aspects.
    • Feminist theory.
    Abstract:
      Social death, central to the evil of genocide (whether the genocide is homicidal or primarily cultural), distinguishes genocide from other mass murders. Loss of social vitality is loss of identity and thereby of meaning for one's existence. Seeing social death at the center of genocide takes our focus off body counts and loss of individual talents, directing us instead to mourn losses of relationships that create community and give meaning to the development of talents.
    Birmingham, Peg, 1955-
  • Holes of Oblivion: The Banality of Radical Evil
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    Subject Headings:
    • Arendt, Hannah.
    • Totalitarianism.
    • Political science -- Philosophy.
    Abstract:
      This essay offers a reflection on Arendt's notion of radical evil, arguing that her later understanding of the banality of evil is already at work in her earlier reflections on the nature of radical evil as banal, and furthermore, that Arendt's understanding of the "banality of radical evil" has its source in the very event that offers a possible remedy to it, namely, the event of natality. Kristeva's recent work (2001) on Arendt is important to this proposal insofar as her notion of "abjection" illuminates Arendt's claim that understanding the superfluousness of the modern human being is inseparable from grasping the emergence of radical evil. In the final part of the essay, I argue that Arendt's "politics of natality" emerges from out of these two inseparable moments of the event of natality, offering the only possible remedy to the threat of radical evil by modifying our relationship to temporality.
    Geddes, Jennifer L.
  • Banal Evil and Useless Knowledge: Hannah Arendt and Charlotte Delbo on Evil after the Holocaust
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    Subject Headings:
    • Arendt, Hannah. Eichmann in Jerusalem.
    • Delbo, Charlotte. Auschwitz et après.
    • Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945) -- Psychological aspects.
    • Good and evil (Judaism)
    Abstract:
      Hannah Arendt's and Charlotte Delbo's writings about the Holocaust trouble our preconceptions about those who do evil and those who suffer evil. Their jarring terms "banal evil" and "useless knowledge" point to limitations and temptations facing scholars of evil. While Arendt helps us to resist the temptation to mythologize evil, Delbo helps us to resist the temptation to domesticate suffering.
    Bergoffen, Debra B.
  • February 22, 2001: Toward a Politics of the Vulnerable Body
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    Subject Headings:
    • Yugoslav War Crime Trials, Hague, Netherlands, 1994-
    • Muslim women -- Crimes against -- Bosnia and Hercegovina.
    • Rape victims -- Bosnia and Hercegovina.
    Abstract:
      On February 22, 2001, three Bosnian Serb soldiers were found guilty of crimes against humanity. Their offense? Rape. This is the first time that rape has been prosecuted and condemned as a crime against humanity. Appealing to Jacques Derrida's democracy of the perhaps and Judith Butler's politics of performative contradiction, I see this judgment inaugurating a politics of the vulnerable body which challenges current understandings of evil, war crimes, and crimes against humanity.
    Franks, Mary Anne.
  • Obscene Undersides: Women and Evil between the Taliban and the United States
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    Subject Headings:
    • Good and evil.
    • Women's rights -- Afghanistan.
    • War on Terrorism, 2001-
    Abstract:
      This paper proposes to supplement an American self-identity predicated on a model of absolute difference from the Taliban (good versus evil, etc.) by exploring affinities between their respective ideologies. The place of "woman," within and through the preponderance of sexual exploitation/violence common to both, is the starting point of this analysis. This article reads the two conflicting powers in a Lacanian/Zizekian dyad of the "Law" and its "obscene superego underside."

Forum on September 11, 2001: Feminist Perspectives on Terrorism

    Bar On, Bat-Ami, 1948-
  • Terrorism, Evil, and Everyday Depravity
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    Subject Headings:
    • Good and evil.
    • Terrorism.
    • War on Terrorism, 2001-
    Abstract:
      This essay expresses ambivalence about the use of the term "evil" in analyses of terrorism in light of the association of the two in speeches intended to justify the United States' "war on terrorism." At the same time, the essay suggests that terrorism can be regarded as "evil" but only when considered among a multiplicity of "evils" comparable to it, for example: rape, war crimes, and repression.
    Card, Claudia.
  • Questions Regarding a War on Terrorism
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    Subject Headings:
    • War on Terrorism, 2001-
    • War -- Protection of civilians.
    Abstract:
      The concept of a war on terrorism creates havoc with attempts to apply rules of war. For "terrorism" is not an agent. Nor is it clear what relationship to terrorism agents must have in order to be legitimate targets. Nor is it clear what kinds of terrorism count. Would a war on terrorism in the home be a justifiable response to domestic battering? If not, do similar objections apply to a war on public terrorism?
    Cornell, Drucilla.
  • Facing Our Humanity
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    Subject Headings:
    • Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan.
    • Women's rights -- Afghanistan.
    Abstract:
      This article argues that U.S. aggression against Afghanistan must be challenged through our support of the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan (RAWA) and their political program. It does so not only by considering competing judgments about what constitutes women's rights, but also through an appeal to the Kantian ideal of humanity and its relation to how we can re-think both terrorism and the treatment of those accused of terrorist activity.
    Jaggar, Alison M.
  • Responding to the Evil of Terrorism
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    Subject Headings:
    • Terrorism -- Prevention.
    • War on Terrorism, 2001-
    Abstract:
      In this paper, I distinguish terrorism from other crimes and from war, noting that terrorism may be perpetrated not only by private individuals and members of nonstate organizations, but also that it may be ordered by the state. Since terrorism is illegal almost everywhere, I argue that the proper response to it is usually through law enforcement rather than military measures. In some circumstances, however, I content that even law enforcement procedures may be used by the state to terrorize civilians. Since nonstate terrorism is usually intended to draw attention to social grievances, I conclude that eliminating terrorism requires addressing those grievances.
    Lara, María Pía.
  • In and Out of Terror: The Vertigo of Secularization
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    Subject Headings:
    • September 11 Terrorist Attacks, 2001 -- Psychological aspects.
    • Terror.
    Abstract:
      The key concept is "vertigo of secularization." It relates to the fears that societies experience when understanding the need to ground their political orders as separated from religion. The erosion of values produces vertigos around the world. We need to understand better these kinds of processes because only by doing so can we keep that fear and violence from taking precedence over the hard working tasks of building up a global political community.
    Mui, Constance L., 1959-
    Murphy, Julien S., 1956-
  • Enduring Freedom: Globalizing Children's Rights
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    Subject Headings:
    • Children's rights.
    • World politics -- 21st century.
    Abstract:
      Events surrounding the September 11 terrorist attacks on the United States raise compelling moral questions about the effects of war and globalization on children in many parts of the world. This paper adopts Sartre's notion of freedom, particularly its connection with materiality and intersubjectivity, to assess the moral responsibility that we have as a global community toward our most vulnerable members. We conclude by examining important first steps that should be taken to address the plight of children.
    Razack, Sherene.
  • Those Who "Witness the Evil"
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    Subject Headings:
    • Security, International.
    • World politics -- 21st century.
    • United States -- Foreign relations -- 2001-
    Abstract:
      For the better part of the last decade, Canadian peacekeepers have been encouraged to frame their activities in Somalia, Rwanda, Bosnia, Kosovo and Croatia as encounters with "absolute evil." Peacekeeping is seen as a moral project in which the North civilizes the South. Using the Canadian peacekeeping context, I reflect on President Bush's use of the phrase "axis of evil" in the New World Order. I argue that this phrase reveals an epistemology structured by notions of the civilized (White) North and the barbaric (Racialized) South. These racial underpinnings give the concept of an "axis of evil" its currency in countries of the North.
    Ruddick, Sara, 1935-
  • The Moral Horror of the September Attacks
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    Subject Headings:
    • September 11 Terrorist Attacks, 2001.
    • National security -- United States.
    Abstract:
      I try to identify the distinct moral horror occasioned by the attacks of September 11 in order to accord them an appropriate, limited place in the ongoing history of terror and violence. I consider the agents of evil and the victims as evil constructs them. I conclude with victim stories that reveal evil by showing the goodness it violates, making us feel the bitter loss of what violence has killed, kills, and will kill again.
    Young, Iris Marion, 1949-
  • Feminist Reactions to the Contemporary Security Regime
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    Subject Headings:
    • National security -- United States.
    • Masculinity -- United States.
    • Feminist theory -- United States.
    Abstract:
      The essay theorizes the logic of masculinist protection as an apparently benign form of male domination. It then argues that authoritarian government is often justified through a logic of masculinist protection, and that this is the form of justification for the security regime that has emerged in the United States since September 11, 2001. I argue that those who live under a security regime live within an oppressive protection racket. The paper ends by cautioning feminists not ourselves to adopt a stance of protector toward women in so-called less developed societies.



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