18.2schott02 - Evil in Modern Thought An Alternative...

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Evil in Modern Thought: An Alternative History of Philosophy Schott, Robin May. Hypatia, Volume 18, Number 2, Spring 2003, pp. 222-226 (Review) Published by Indiana University Press For additional information about this article Access Provided by Bilkent Universitesi at 10/26/10 9:29PM GMT http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/hyp/summary/v018/18.2schott02.html
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222 Hypatia To quote Freeland: “And what of evil? Evil was obvious in Murnau’s Nosferatu . It dwelled (sic) in the vampire who brought plague wherever he went. It was simply death, but no conversion or seduction” (275). In what way is death simple? As Ziarek suggests, death can never be recovered. Its location is contingent; it is “the outside as the irreducible residue of social formation” (21). Similarly, Freeland reduces the notion of the Kantian sublime to a duality de± ned by the dichotomy, sublime/anti-sublime (236). She by extension reduces the uncanny to the anti-sublime—by implication again creating a stable dichotomy between the uncanny and something that might be terms the “canny.” Freeland’s method pushes her to create a set of rhetorically stable dichotomies. She attempts, in other words, to arrest the “becoming” of feminism as it seeks to articulate a posi- tion that by de± nition must move beyond speci± ed sets of binary oppositions. Finally, then, in spite of the rich analysis that Freeland offers, her method, or perhaps more accurately the claims that she makes about her method, “undoes” what might have been a signi± cant contribution to feminist ± lm theory. R²³²´²NC²µ Bordwell, David, and ¶oel ·arroll, eds. 1997. Post-theory: Reconstructing ± lm studies Madison: University of Wisconsin Press. Ziarek, Ewa. 2001. An ethics of dissensus: Postmodernity, feminism, and the politics of radical democracy . Stanford: Stanford University Press. Evil in Modern Thought: An Alternative History of Philosophy by SUSA¶ ¶EIMA¶. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2002. Robin May Schott As Susan ¶eiman writes in her new book, Evil in Modern Thought; An Alter- native History of Philosophy , one of the characteristics of twentieth-century philosophy is “the absence of explicit discussion of the problem of evil” ( 288). This disinterest in the problem of evil is especially characteristic of analytic philosophy, which nonetheless has reclaimed most other topics in philosophy. Against the background of this philosophical view that evil is an awkward and uncomfortable term too heavily tinged with theological or psychological overtones, ¶eiman makes a compelling case that in fact the problem of evil is the central concern in the history of philosophy and is the “guiding force of modern thought” (2–3). The problem of evil most broadly understood is the
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Book Reviews 223 place of suffering. The problem of evil in her usage thus becomes coterminous with the struggle for meaning, with the effort of human beings to understand
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This note was uploaded on 03/14/2011 for the course ENG 102 taught by Professor Emelbekişoğlu during the Fall '11 term at Bilkent University.

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18.2schott02 - Evil in Modern Thought An Alternative...

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