Nearly two years on, the experiences and trajectories of the pandemic across the world have confirmed that it has been in the grasp of a systemic malaise, ‘le mal’. Everywhere evil is as a viral condition: in the etymological sense of a poison and in the media-theoretical sense, in its uncontrollable spread, of a contagion.
It is time to revaluate the concept of evil, raising it as perhaps the only term through which philosophy can reflect on the pandemic. This collection contains responses from moral and political philosophy, epistemology, and ontology, literary studies, theology and psychoanalysis. It is a collective meditation which takes a plural approach to the sufferings of different parts of the world, deploying a stance dedicated to place and specificity.Their distinct contributions arise from multiple traditions, with voices from within and beyond the “western” canon. The eighteen mediations decline the temptation to isolate the pandemic as a simple great event, equal across the globe that it continues to devastate. Instead, like the witches of Macbeth, they come together as a gathering to speak of this state of evil, for it is our own condition. They explore the hesitating question, which yet confesses a terrifying suspicion: is it possible to speak of evil in the time of the pandemic?
Divya Dwivedi is a philosopher based in the Indian Subcontinent. She is associate professor of Philosophy and Literature in the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi. She is the co-author with Shaj Mohan of Gandhi and Philosophy: On Theological Anti-Politics and co-editor of Narratology and Ideology and Public Sphere from outside the West. She is also the guest editor of a special issue of Critical Philosophy of Race which is devoted to caste.
INTRODUCTION - DIVYA DWIVEDI
PART I - Acts of Evil
1. Up Against the Wall – JEAN-LUC NANCY, translated by Sindhuja Veeraragavan
2. Modal of Lost responsibilities – DIVYA DWIVEDI
3. Badly exhausted – MARCIA SÁ CAVALCANTE SCHUBACK
4. Mirages of the act – JAN VÖLKER
5. Is Evil an Illusion? – SERGIO BENVENUTO
PART II – Who is Evil: of hostice, hosts and parasites
6. Evil, Time, Human – FEDERICO FERRARI
7. From Panic to Ecological Immunity – OSAMU NISHITANI
8. Life, Knowledge and Fear in the Context of Covid19 – JUAN M. GARRIDO WAINER
9. “The World is a Vampire:” Of Pandemics and Parasites – S. ROMI MUKHERJEE
10. Vulnerability or naked life? Political imagination during the pandemic – TADEUSZ KOCZANOWICZ
PART III – Viral Discriminations, or where is evil?
11. Sad Tropics, Sad Planet: Covid19 – GOMDAOGO PIERRE NAKOULIMA, translated by Chloé Pretesacque
12. Phobos: evil and urgency in a conflictual pandemic – M. LUCÍA RIVERA SANÍN
13. It would be nice to testify that we are aware of our night – PARHAM SHAHRJERDI, translated by Chloé Pretesacque
14. “Shuffering and shmiling” Life, disease and death in Burkina Faso – AÏDAS SANOGO
PART IV – Sighting Evil
15. The proximity of death and the remoteness of totality – IVANA PERICA
16. “... but (let’s) deliver-us from Evil” : From “Pandemic” Evil to Evil as “Pandemisation” – BENEDETTA TODARO
17. The Revenge of Nature? On the Coronavirus and “Natural Evil” – DANIEL J. SMITH
18. Don’t, or the thought cat’apostrophed, ANGEL DELREZ