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Distributed for Brandeis University Press

Philosophical Witnessing

The Holocaust as Presence

In this volume, eminent scholar Berel Lang brings the perspective of philosophical analysis to bear on issues related to the Holocaust. Setting out from a conception of philosophical “witnessing” that expands and illuminates the standard view of the witness, he confronts the question of what philosophy can add to the views of the Holocaust provided in other disciplines. Drawing on the philosophical areas of political theory, ethics, aesthetics, and the philosophy of history, he draws attention especially to the post-Holocaust emphasis on the concepts of genocide and “group rights.” Lang’s study, which emphasizes the moral choices that now face post-Holocaust thought, inspires the reader to think of the Holocaust in new ways, showing how its continued presence in contemporary consciousness affects areas of thought and practice not directly associated with that event.

260 pages | 6 x 9

Philosophy: General Philosophy


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Table of Contents

Preface • Acknowledgments • THE HOLOCAUST AT PHILOSOPHY’S ADDRESS • Philosophical Witnessing: “. . . And only I have survived to tell you” • Truth at Risk and the Holocaust’s Response • Evil and Understanding: A Holocaust Dilemma • Jaspers’ Die Schuldfrage: A Presence Early and Late • VS. THE UNSPEAKABLE, THE UNSHOWABLE, AND THE UNTHINKABLE • Holocaust-Representation in the Genre of Silence • Representation and Misrepresentation: On or about the Holocaust • Applied Ethics, Post-Holocaust • The Jewish Declaration of War against the Nazis • THE PRESENCE AS FUTURE • From the Holocaust to Group Rights: Minorities in a Majority World • Metaphysical Racism (Or: Biological Warfare by Other Means) • Hyphenated-Jews and the Anxiety of Identity • Reconciliation: Not Revenge, Not Forgiveness, Perhaps Not Even Justice • AFTERWORD – Wound and Scar • Appendix: Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide • Notes • Index

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