Published by the Center for the Study of The Great Ideas (founded in 1990 by Mortimer J. Adler and Max Weismann)
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Wednesday, July 9, 2014

On Cruelty

Judith Butler reviews The Death Penalty: Vol. I, by Jacques Derrida, translated by Peggy Kamuf, at the London Review of Books.
"Those who oppose the death penalty, such as Beccaria and sometimes Bentham, seem to prefer a long, drawn-out form of cruel imprisonment, which raises the question: which camp in this debate stands for the more humane form of punishment? Wary of forms of aggression disguised as benevolence, Derrida asks whether some abolitionists are committed to other forms of cruelty that are masked by elegant moral formulations, ones that rationalise prolonging the time of cruelty and the tenure of sadistic delight."

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