Chapter

Introduction: Terrible Ethics

Jacques Lezra

in Wild Materialism

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print September 2010 | ISBN: 9780823232352
Published online March 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780823235889 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5422/fso/9780823232352.003.0001
Introduction: Terrible Ethics

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There is an old kinship between terror, judgment, and the city. That relation and the promises it may hold for the almost equally old concept republicanism, are the subject of this book. This is how the story starts. It is 1982, a city's survival is at stake, and everything depends on a decision: this is what the philosopher Michael Levin invites one to imagine. Levin gives a particular city; it stands in for any other. His famous fable terrifies, but it is a pedagogical, or better yet, a civic experience that he intends. The story he tells bears on the relation between ethical judgments and political interests, and he gives it the shape that the conflict between globalization and national interest assumes in the metropolitan imaginary. Deontology, value ethics, religious morality—no ethical argument against torture and state terror has standing when the city is imagined to be in peril.

Keywords: kinship; terror; judgment; city; republicanism; Michael Levin; ethics; morality

Chapter.  14593 words. 

Subjects: Social and Political Philosophy

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