Monday, August 15, 2011

Haddad, Samir. Review of Nathan Eckstrand, et al., eds. PHILOSOPHY AND THE RETURN OF VIOLENCE. NDPR (August 2011).

Eckstrand, Nathan, and Christopher S. Yates, eds.  Philosophy and the Return of Violence: Studies from this Widening Gyre.  London: Continuum, 2011.

Philosophy and the Return of Violence: Studies from this Widening Gyre is a thought-provoking collection of thirteen essays by philosophers working in the Continental tradition. While some reference is made to empirical events -- the wars and the peace movements of the last century and the terrorism of this one -- the approach taken by the contributors is firmly theoretical, with the focus divided between accounts of structures responsible for violence, proposals for the pursuit of nonviolence, and critiques of other philosophers' writings on this theme. One shortcoming of the book as a whole is the brevity of the essays; in several instances I wanted to read more from the particular author, to see the next step in the argument or justification for a certain claim. But that is inevitable in this kind of edited collection, and most if not all of the authors have written more on these topics in other publications. Philosophy and the Return of Violence is thus perhaps best treated as a sampler of sorts, providing the reader with a diverse snapshot of ideas, analyses, and arguments that can be pursued elsewhere should they pique her interest. . . .

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