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By W. Schinkel

This e-book offers a singular method of the social medical learn of violence. It argues for an 'extended' definition of violence so as to keep away from subscribing to commonsensical or nation propagated definitions of violence, and can pay particular awareness to 'autotelic violence' (violence for the sake of itself), in addition to to terrorism.

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Additional resources for Aspects of Violence: A Critical Theory

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The definition of violence will therefore always be coloured by violence itself. In part, this is why violence, as stated in Chapter I, has a tendency of being misrecognized. Language betrays us here. What Husserl (I976b: 372) has called the 'seduction of language' is doubly misleading in the case of violence, since language itself is a violent tool by means of which certain things - certain violent things - can be omitted from the definition of violence by allusion to the familiarity and the conceptual realism present in most use of language.

In opinions on criminal law and 24 Aspects of Violence punishment, the balance between state and church lead to a subtle change that eventually found its place at the heart of the modem theory of punishment. In the later days of the Roman Empire, private violence and crime in general were kept in check to the extent that threats to order were countered. There was, therefore, no real need to suit punishment to the conditions of the offender and the offence, as becomes apparent in Augustine saying: Surely, it is not without purpose that we have the institution of the power of kings, the death penalty of the judge, the barbed hooks of the executioner, the weapons of the soldier, the right of punishment of the ruler, even the severity of the good father [...

The modern state's monopoly of legitimate violence thus grew out of a secularization of the state, but the violent individual was punished precisely because he or she apparently still thought the place of God could be taken: murder 'virtually usurps God's sovereign Authority [... ] and it does the highest Injustice to Man ... ', wrote Charles Chauncy (1754: 5). If anything, the state became a secularized transcendence hovering over individuals bound together by contract. Thus, a medieval warrior nobility was gradually replaced by a sovereign state under which the individual had less possibilities at hand to avail himself of physical force without reprimand.

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