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(2019) Violence and meaning, Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan.

Violence and essentialism?

Lode Lauwaert

pp. 27-37

Both philosophers and non-philosophers often have the impression that the concept of violence has an essence, that is, one or more properties that are characteristic of all violence and only violence. In this chapter, it is shown that characteristics of damage, morally wrong and intention cannot be the essence. The conclusion is that we need to understand our notion of violence in the same way as Wittgenstein understood the concept of play and family. That insight is not only of philosophical importance but also of non-philosophical relevance.

Publication details

DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-27173-2_2

Full citation:

Lauwaert, L. (2019)., Violence and essentialism?, in L. Lauwaert, L. K. Smith & C. Sternad (eds.), Violence and meaning, Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 27-37.

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