Tag: Morality

Stumbling Over a Violent Past

When Jennifer Teege was 38, she discovered a book in Hamburg’s central library that dramatically transformed her self-conception and her life: I Have to Love My Father, Don’t I? The book concerned ...

Where do Morals Come From?

The social sciences have an ethics problem. No, I am not referring to the recent scandals about flawed and fudged data in psychology and political science.1 I’m talking about the failure of the ...

Chronicle of a Soul: Roberto Saviano

“If you find yourself in a hole, stop digging.” The old adage might be a fit translation of what many Italians thought when Roberto Saviano received death threats from the Camorra (the Neapolitan ...

Can Child Soldiers Be Saved?

Everybody loves stories about child soldiers, it seems, as long as redemption is involved. A memoir about Sierra Leone’s civil war, for example, is not exactly the feel-good stuff you’d expect to see ...

A Muslim Future to Come?

The devastating attacks of November 13 on Paris’s 10th and 11th arrondissements viciously targeted the “progressive” heart of the city. When I am there, that is where I live. Like many other ...

Saving Muslim Women

The 2015 Charlie Hebdo attacks in Paris—along with the brutal activities of ISIS—have spurred a resurgence of concern about Islam in Western media. New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof fretted ...

On Spectacle and Silence

The spectacle is not a collection of images; rather, it is a social relationship between people that is mediated by images. —Guy Debord, The Society of the Spectacle   1 We sat on the couch ...

Planetary Politics

In 2000, the atmospheric chemist Paul Crutzen and the ecologist Eugene Stoermer proposed that the earth had entered a new age. The Holocene period, the geological term for the past 11,500 years, had ...

Gallantry, Ishiguro-Style

Quaintness is history defanged, a past we render harmless by declaring it naive. It’s a form of retrospection somewhere between a sneer in the rearview mirror and longing’s backward glance, one ...

Safe Space

The geography of gay life has shifted dramatically over the past decades. In 1949, Jean Genet’s Thief’s Journal described homosexuality as located almost exclusively in spaces of moral depredation—in ...

Why Is Drug Use Forbidden?

If the 20th was the century of the prohibition of drugs, the 21st has every chance to be the century of their liberation. An increasing number of initiatives—state, national, and international—have ...

Can Drones Have Ethics?

In this interview, Claire Richard and media studies professor Peter Asaro discuss the history of drone warfare and the troubling proliferation of new technologies that can surveil and kill from a ...

For the Love of Israel

In 1963, after the publication of Eichmann in Jerusalem, Gershom Scholem and Hannah Arendt exchanged a series of tense letters. Scholem, a renowned scholar of Jewish mysticism and himself a critic of ...

The Politics of Sacred Life

Humanitarianism, according to Didier Fassin, is “a relatively recent invention” that has become “a potent force of our world” that is “global and yet uneven.” It has come, he asserts, to occupy “a ...

The Janus Face of Conscience

Throughout the summer of 1938, Paul Gruninger was in charge of policing a small section of the Swiss border. A captain in the canton of St. Gallen, his job was to prevent entry from Nazi-controlled ...