JBSP Online: Sidra Shahid – ‘Arendt, Améry, and the Phenomenology of Evil’

journal update

Available online, a new article for the Journal of the British Society for Phenomenology by Sidra Shahid (Amsterdam University College).

Sidra Shahid – “Arendt, Améry, and the Phenomenology of Evil”: JBSP (Originally published online: 20 July 2022).

Abstract: Contemporary accounts of evil attempt to identify features or properties that transform an act of wrongdoing into an act of evil. What is missing from the discussion, however, is a phenomenology of evil that engages with the standpoint of the subject that undergoes evil. This paper discusses basic themes for a phenomenology of evil through a critical comparison between Hannah Arendt and Jean Améry’s respective conceptions of evil. Central for this discussion is a claim Arendt and Améry share: evil destroys subjectivity and undermines trust in the world. Furthermore, both argue that the perpetrators of evil inhabit a distorted moral framework. They differ, however, insofar as Améry foregrounds the subject that undergoes evil, a standpoint that remains tacit in Arendt’s account. Recounting his torture by the Gestapo, Améry reveals how embodied subjects experiences evil and how it is in light of these experiences that perpetrators of evil should be understood.

Full article: https://doi.org/10.1080/00071773.2022.2101134

Sidra Shahid, Amsterdam University College, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

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