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2009 | 8 | 4(25) | 47-56

Article title

VIOLENCE AND TERROR (Przemoc i terror)


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Violence, according to the authoress of the paper, is one of the 'categories' that organize the contemporary thinking. Reflecting on violence, she refers to classical works on the subject to sketch a rich semantic field of this category. She pays more attention to Edward Dembowski's investigations who distinguished different kinds of violence, including mental violence. However, she does not share his faith that with education this kind of violence must disappear. By referring to reflections of H. Arendt, Marx and Heidegger, the authoress claims that elements of violence are hidden in every action that we undertake, and both in negative and positive dimension. Violence can be integral to creativity. It shows its negative side when it degenerates into terror. The inspiration to shed light on connections of violence and terror comes from Bronislaw Baczko's book 'Jak wyjsc z Terroru' (literally: How to End the Terror, English translation: Ending of Terror. The French Revolution after Robespierre), and the problem is the question in the title of the book. It is not easy to end the terror, and psychology and psychiatry also have difficulties in treating the tendencies towards terror of individuals who seem apparently normal. The case of violence is similar - it is, as the authoress claims after Heidegger - somehow written into our existence. Not every kind of violence results in terror. The fact that we cannot (or do not want to) fight against it is evidence of human susceptibility to evil and our moral weakness.


  • the authoress passed away


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