14.07. – 16.07.

Let’s Talk About Revenge! Retributive Emotions, Justice, and Moral Repair

International Conference at Kulturwissenschaftliches Institut Essen (KWI)

Kulturwissenschaftliches Institut Essen (KWI), Goethestraße 31, 45128 Essen

Modernity claims to have overcome revenge. According to the modern narrative of progress, the establishment of a central state authority replaced the unruly reign of revenge by the rational rule of law. Since Bacon and Hobbes, the assumption that revenge and law are mutually exclusive is central to legal and political philosophy. This assumption, however, has not only led to a comprehensive moral delegitimization of revenge, but also fostered its theoretical obscuration. For contrary to modern self-understanding, vengeful affects and retributive emotions have not disappeared from our psychological, social, and cultural reality at all – they are just hushed up . That is why we want to open this discussion again. The international conference „Let’s Talk About Revenge! On Retributive Emotions, Justice and Moral Repair“ seeks to arrive at a more balanced understanding of revenge and retributive emotions that also considers their constructive potential in processes of conflict resolution and moral repair.