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Torture and dignity : an essay on moral injury

Author: J M Bernstein
Publisher: Chicago ; London : The University of Chicago Press, 2015.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
Beginning with the attempts to abolish torture in the eighteenth century, and then sensitively examining what is suffered in torture and related transgressions, such as rape, Bernstein elaborates a powerful new conception of moral injury. Crucially, he shows, moral injury always involves an injury to the status of an individual as a person - it is a violent assault against his or her dignity. Elaborating on this  Read more...
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Named Person: Cesare Beccaria, marchese di; Cesare Beccaria, marchese di
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: J M Bernstein
ISBN: 9780226266329 022626632X
OCLC Number: 898086999
Description: x, 380 pages ; 24 cm
Contents: Part I. History, phenomenology, and moral analysis. 1. Abolishing torture and the uprising of the rule of law. Introduction ; Abolishing torture : the dignity of tormentable bodies ; Torture and the rule of law : Beccaria ; The Beccaria thesis ; Forgetting Beccaria ; 2. On being tortured. Introduction ; Pain : certainty and separateness ; Améry's torture ; Pain's aversiveness ; Pain : feeling or reason? ; Sovereignty : pain and the other ; Without borders : loss of trust in the world ; 3. The harm of rape, the harm of torture. Introduction : Rape and/as torture ; Moral injury as appearance ; Moral injury as actual : bodily persons ; On being raped ; Exploiting the moral ontology of the body : rape ; Exploiting the moral ontology of the body : torture --
Part II. Constructing moral dignity. 4. To be is to live, to be is to be recognized. Introduction ; To be is to be recognized ; Risk and the necessity of life for self-consciousness ; Being and having a body ; From life to recognition ; 5. Trust as mutual recognition. Introduction ; The necessity, pervasiveness, and invisibility of trust ; Trust's priority over reason ; Trust in a developmental setting ; On first love : trust as the recognition of intrinsic worth ; 6. "My body ... my physical and metaphysical dignity". Why dignity? ; From Nuremberg to Treblinka : the fate of the unlovable ; Without rights, without dignity : from humiliation to devastation ; Dignity and the human form ; The body without dignity ; My body : voluntary and involuntary ; Bodily revolt : respect, self-respect, and dignity --
Concluding remarks: On moral alienation. The abolition of torture and utilitarian fantasies ; Moral alienation and the persistence of rape.
Responsibility: J.M. Bernstein.

Abstract:

Beginning with the attempts to abolish torture in the eighteenth century, and then sensitively examining what is suffered in torture and related transgressions, such as rape, Bernstein elaborates a powerful new conception of moral injury. Crucially, he shows, moral injury always involves an injury to the status of an individual as a person - it is a violent assault against his or her dignity. Elaborating on this critical element of moral injury, he demonstrates that the mutual recognitions of trust form the invisible substance of our moral lives, that dignity is a fragile social possession, and that the perspective of ourselves as potential victims is an ineliminable feature of everyday moral experience.

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This book has two topics, dignity and torture each of which has assumed great importance in the last twenty years.Bernstein contrasts torture with the rule of law and human dignity with violation and Read more...

 
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