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Phillip Nelson

Phillip Nelson

PhD candidate in the Department of Philosophy

' Pure Violence and the Political Realm: Who is Responsible for War?'

Synopsis: In this presentation, I examine a distinction the philosopher and political thinker, Hannah Arendt, makes between two types of violence and their relationship to power.  One type of violence exists within the political realm whereas the other exists on its margins.  In the case of the first, violence is always a threat to political power, but when violence appears at the margins of the political realm as "pure violence," its relationship to power completely changes.  I argue that it is the responsibility of civilians and veterans, not soldiers, to navigate the relational dynamics at play between power and violence.

Biography: Phillip served in the US Army from 2003-2008; he served two tours in Iraq and one short tour in Afghanistan.  He earned his BA in English from Penn State Harrisburg (2011), his MA in Philosophy at University of Oregon (2013), and he is currently a PhD candidate at Stony Brook University in Philosophy.  His dissertation, "A Political Phenomenology of Warfare Responsibility," aims to sketch the margins of the political realm for the purpose of defining responsibility during wartime. Phillip is a Turner Fellow in the Center for Inclusive Education

Tuesday, November 14, 2017 at 12:30 PM




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