Why War? / Non-Violent Violence

In this talk, I would like to reflect on the hugely difficult question of the nature and plausibility of a politics of nonviolence. In particular, I would like to focus on how such a politics has to negotiate the limits of nonviolence and in what circumstances it might become necessary to transgress those limits. The complex necessity for such transgression will be captured in Judith Butler’s paradoxical formulation, ‘nonviolent violence.’(Critchley)

Simon Critchley teaches philosophy at the New School for Social Research. His last book was How to Stop Living and Start Worrying (Polity, 2010) and his next book will be The Faith of the Faithless (Verso, forthcoming).

Introduction: Judith Butler, Professor of Comparative Literature, UC Berkeley