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Introduction: Topics, Problems, and Potentials of a Phenomenological Analysis of Violence

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Chapter Summary

There is violence to the extent that there are historically and culturally constituted and thus contingent orders, within which the "meaning violence" is ascribed to a given social event. It does not imply that we cannot carve out some traits of violence and its significance for the socio-political and cultural order. Every analysis of violence hence necessitates an analysis of those orders of violence, in which the sovereign right of defining what is "violence "and what is "non-violence" is embodied. For, to what extent do we understand ourselves not only metaphorically as a "body" but rather in fact function as a "collective bodily existence", and, thus, experience ourselves as vulnerable? This question bears on a cardinal problem that heretofore has been unfathomed and not only in phenomenology: the question that remains to be posed here is what forms of collective embodiment are required given the irreducible ambiguity of our embodied being.

Keywords: cultural order; socio-political order; violence



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