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After FukushimaThe Equivalence of Catastrophes$
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Jean-Luc Nancy

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780823263387

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823263387.001.0001

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After Fukushima

Jean-Luc Nancy

, Charlotte Mandell
Fordham University Press

This chapter describes how one should deal with Fukushima. To philosophize about the disaster of Fukushima is like writing a poem about the Auschwitz concentration camp. There are differences between these two which go beyond philosophy and poetry. The differences should not be taken lightly. Both Auschwitz and Hiroshima occurred during the Second World War and, instead of having ended the war, both became a scheme for people to develop technological rationality and to annihilate entire populations. Auschwitz and Hiroshima have transformed society and affected civilization in a way that should be seen as extreme when compared to other forms of violence. This excess is not only because of the massive scale when and where it occurred but more in that there is a change in nature. It was not only human lives that were targeted but organisms beyond human life with all its forms, generations, relationships, and representations.

Keywords:   Auschwitz, Hiroshima, Second World War, technological rationality

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