Violence and Responsibility

  • Felix Ó Murchadha
Part of the International Political Theory book series (IPoT)


In this chapter, Ó Murchadha asks where the philosopher stands in relation to violence. Philosophical explorations typically claim a standpoint of neutrality. Is neutrality a responsible position to take with respect to violence? Ó Murchadha argues that violence by its nature disallows disengagement: the very claim to disengagement participates in violence. Drawing on The Book of Genesis, as well as the works of Agamben, Arendt, Husserl, Derrida, Leibniz, and Levinas, Ó Murchadha charts a middle way between those who aestheticise violence and those who claim to be free from all responsibility for violence. He argues that, in exploring violence philosophically, fundamental questions are raised regarding the responsibility of philosophy itself in ways which have relevance to the self-understanding of the philosopher.


Violent Event Ethical Demand Ethical Claim Interruptive Speech Unreal Possibility 
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Copyright information

© The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Felix Ó Murchadha
    • 1
  1. 1.National University of IrelandGalwayRepublic of Ireland

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