Violence and the Law
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Level: Undergraduate
Division: The New School for Public Engagement
School: Bachelor's Program for Adults and Transfer Students
Department: Humanities
Course Number: NPHI 3768
Course Format: Seminar
Location: NYC campus
Permission Required: No
  • Philosophy
  • Social Justice
  • Ethics & Social Responsibility
The establishment of law can be seen as the uprooting of violence: a social contract according to which all parties agree to cease all violent actions. Violence can thus be considered antithetical to the law. Yet one could also argue that the imposition of law is the violent act par excellence and that violence plays a structural role without which the law could not sustain itself. When is violence legitimate? Who decides? Is enforcement of the law always a violent act? Do we need to distinguish between different types of violence? In this course, we read political philosophers from the 20th century including Benjamin, Schmitt, Arendt, and Derrida, as well as earlier thinkers such as Hobbes and Nietzsche.
Course Open to: Degree Students