New Publications in Philosophy Today

Sjoerd van Tuinen and Ruud Welten

Two ESPhil professors contributed to the new edition of Philosophy Today. This special issue was dedicated to rethinking victimhood with a special focus on phenomenology, religion, and the human condition. Find the abstracts of Sjoerd van Tuinen and Ruud Welten below. 

 If you would like to read other contributions to this volume of Philosophy Today (among whom Jason W. Alvis, Ludger Hagedorn, and many others) see the button in the banner of this page. 


Sjoerd van Tuinen

Authentic Ressentiment?: The Polemics of Jean Améry

Following Nietzsche, we can discern two types of therapeutical voice on ressentiment, which find themselves in a polemical relation to one another: The philosopher and the priest. In this paper, van Tuinen turns to a third polemical voice, embodied by Jean Améry, namely that of the victim who bears witness to his own ressentiment. A dialectical reconstruction of this standpoint within the polemical triangle contributes to the Améry reception in three ways: (1) It is no longer necessary to justify his tactlessness through the exceptional context of the objectively recognized lived experience of victimhood. (2) It shows that Améry’s assumption of his “authentic ressentiment” is not just “anti-Nietzschean” (Jameson, Žižek) but first of all anti-pastoral. (3) Beyond the question of (in)authenticity, this also implies that the political significance of Améry’s testimony lies in its literary and conceptual systematicity no less than as a description of lived experience


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Ruud Welten

Sartre and the Transformation of Victimhood in Saint Genet

In this contribution, a poetical transformation of victimhood is explored as described by Jean-Paul Sartre in his Saint Genet, a study of the writer Jean Genet (1910–1986). First, the question is answered what Sartre, who famously wrote “There are no innocent victims,” has to say about victimhood. Second, an outline is given of the context of Jean Genet’s work and the role he plays in Sartre’s thinking. There is a clear line from Sartre’s earlier study of Baudelaire to Saint Genet. Both authors try not to reject the judgment that has been passed on them but to affirm it, to turn this affirmation into an art. Third, already in his Baudelaire, but even more in Saint Genet, Sartre describes the merge of the victim and executioner as a mystical enterprise. Moreover, like Baudelaire, Genet transforms the idea of the convict and evil into a language dedicated to flowers. This leads to a transformation from victimhood to poetry.

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Philosophy Today is an international peer-reviewed journal that reflects the current questions, topics and debates of contemporary philosophy, with a particular focus on continental philosophy. This journal is especially interested in interdisciplinary work at the intersection of philosophy, political theory, comparative literature, and cultural studies. It provides space for reviews, as well as short translations of the works of contemporary philosophical figures originally published in other languages.

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