Murderous Consent — A Symposium with Marc Crépon
Friday 25 October 2019
Richard Hoggart Building 137
Goldsmiths, University of London
“Murderous consent” is the name given by Marc Crépon (ENS, Paris) to the violence we do not directly inflict but in which we are structurally complicit: famines, civil strife, political oppression in other places, war. Within the rationality on which the liberal or neoliberal state is built, this sort of complicity goes unaccounted for. Yet when we distinguish ethics from politics as two separate spheres, Crépon argues, we, too, are perpetrators of violence—as seen, for instance, when we resist the call to respond with care to the vulnerabilities of peoples in distant parts of the world.
Against the myriad ways in which even our opposition to violence may be undermined by unacknowledged consent to commit violence, we must therefore rethink the very concepts of violence, the prohibition against violence, and the living beings to which violence applies. Reorienting the resources found in literature and philosophy to the question of how current forms of ethical reasoning license violence, Crépon asks whether a more radical manner of interpersonal responsibility might be conceivable.
This symposium will begin with Marc Crépon’s presentation of the political consequences of his argument. It then brings together five scholars from the fields of political theory, Jewish philosophy, literary theory, social and critical theory, and critical legal studies to each respond to a chapter in Crépon’s argument, which deal, respectively, with Camus, Freud, Levinas, Kraus and Anders, amongst others. Marc Crépon will be joined by James Martel (SFSU), the author of the foreword to the English edition of his book, as well as Agata Bielik-Robson (Nottingham), Josh Cohen (Goldsmiths), Başak Ertür (Birkbeck), and Alberto Toscano (Goldsmiths). In conclusion, Professor Crépon will give a response to the papers.
Free and open to the public.
Contact: j.ng [at] gold.ac.uk
This event is co-sponsored by the Centre for Philosophy and Critical Thought, Goldsmiths, and the School of Law at Birkbeck, University of London.
Julia Ng — Welcome, Introduction
Marc Crépon — The Politics of Murderous Consent
Alberto Toscano — On Justice (chapter 1)
Agata Bielik-Robson — On Life (chapter 2)
4:20-4:30pm — break
Josh Cohen — On Freedom (chapter 3)
James Martel — On Truth (chapter 4)
Başak Ertür — On World (chapter 5)
6:00-6:10pm — break
Marc Crépon — Response to the papers
Marc Crépon is Chair of Philosophy at the École Normale Supérieure, Paris, and Research Director of the Husserl Archives. He is one of France’s leading voices in contemporary political and moral philosophy and is the author of The Thought of Death and the Memory of War (Minnesota) and The Vocation of Writing: Literature and Philosophy in the Test of Violence (SUNY).
James Martel is Professor and Chair of Political Science at San Francisco State University. His most recent book is The Misinterpellated Subject (Duke).
Alberto Toscano is Reader in the Sociology department and Co-Director of the Centre for Philosophy and Critical Thought at Goldsmiths, University of London.
Agata Bielik-Robson is Professor of Jewish Studies at the University of Nottingham.
Josh Cohen is Professor of Modern Literary Theory in the English and Comparative Literature department at Goldsmiths, University of London.
Başak Ertür is Lecturer in the School of Law and Co-Director of the Centre for Law and the Humanities at Birkbeck, University of London.
Julia Ng is Lecturer in Critical Theory in the English and Comparative Literature department and Co-Director of the Centre for Philosophy and Critical Thought at Goldsmiths, University of London.