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Butler and Ethics$
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Moya Lloyd

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780748678846

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748678846.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM EDINBURGH SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.edinburgh.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Edinburgh University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ESO for personal use.date: 27 September 2021

Violence, Affect and Ethics

Violence, Affect and Ethics

(p.91) 4 Violence, Affect and Ethics
Butler and Ethics

Birgit Schippers

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter considers Butler’s treatment of affect and its import for understanding ethical responses to violence and war. Building on Butler’s affective conception of ethics, the chapter argues that her emphasis on the visceral dimensions of social and political life makes an important contribution to a still neglected topic in the fields of global ethics and political philosophy that contributes notably towards an understanding of the differentiated visceral responses to the suffering of others, specifically in the context of war. However, despite the explanatory force and normative ambition of Butler’s rendering of the relationship between affect and ethics, her account lacks normative plausibility. While she tells us why we should respond ethically towards others, she cannot tell us why we should feel ethically disposed towards others. This connection between ethical obligation and ethical feeling, or affect, is not finally resolved in her work.

Keywords:   Affect, Ethical responsibility, Global ethics, Violence, Vulnerability, War

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