Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Violence and Respect

What is the exact linguistic opposite of the word "violence" if not "respect"? And everybody knows what a large role "respect" plays in the two most important works of moral philosophy of the modern age, Kant's Critique of Practical Reason and Rosmini's Principles of Ethics. Do we need to recall that according to Kant respect is a very special sentiment, because on the one hand it is awareness of our subordination to the absolute authority of the law, and on the other it is awareness of our participation in the absolute value of the law, and therefore it is what makes us recognize our own dignity? Thus, we can say that respect for the law prevents my will from becoming an absolute, and respect for the other person prevents my action from becoming violent. Likewise, do we need to recall the first principle of Rosmini's ethics, which is respect for the order of being?

Augusto Del Noce, "Violence and Modern Gnosticism", The Crisis of Modernity, Lancellotti, ed. & tr. McGill-Queen's University Press (Chicago: 2014) pp. 26-27.

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