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Death and Other PenaltiesPhilosophy in a Time of Mass Incarceration$
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Geoffrey Adelsberg, Lisa Guenther, and Scott Zeman

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780823265299

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: September 2015

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823265299.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM FORDHAM SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.fordham.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Fordham University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in FSO for personal use.date: 03 August 2021

Prison and the Subject of Resistance

Prison and the Subject of Resistance

A Levinasian Inquiry

(p.250) Prison and the Subject of Resistance
Death and Other Penalties

Shokoufeh Sakhi

Fordham University Press

This chapter examines isolation and torture from the perspective of political prisoners within totalitarian systems. By elucidating a dialectic of capitulation under torture and the threat of death, it explores the meaning of ethical resistance and shows how this meaning may both embody a praxis of resistance beyond the grasp of coercive systems and also point toward a theory of ethical engagement as such. While the interrogation of the ethical meaning of resistance may be informed by theory, its meaning is, of course, lived. With reference to experiences of resistance and capitulation in the context of various political prison systems, the chapter draws on Emmanuel Levinas's ethical philosophy to articulate a “resistance beyond resistance”—a resistance of humanity itself, that may represent an absolute limit to the reach of coercive practices, and a site from which to conceive an effective resistance.

Keywords:   prisoner isolation, prisoner torture, political prisoners, totalitarian systems, ethical resistance, Emmanuel Levinas

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