The Terrifying Concupiscence of Belonging: Noise and Evil in the Work of Michel Serres

Symposium: Canadian Journal of Continental Philosophy/Revue canadienne de philosophie continentale 19 (1):249-267 (2015)
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In this paper I examine the conception of evil and the prescriptions for its mitigation that Michel Serres has articulated in his recent works. My explication of Serres’s argument centers on the claim, advanced in many different texts, that practices of exclusion, motivated by what he calls “the terrifying concupiscence of belonging,” are the primary sources of evil in the world. After explicating Serres’s argument, I examine three important objections, concluding that Serres overestimates somewhat the role of exclusion in perpetuating evil and that his prescriptions for mitigating evil are excessively optimistic.

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Bryan Lueck
Southern Illinois University Edwardsville


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