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date: 12 July 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This article poses genocide as a philosophical problem, reviewing some of the ways philosophers have addressed genocide and then, by using the work of Max Horkheimer and Theodor W. Adorno, suggests an alternative way in which they can proceed further. First, it raises the question as to why philosophers have been prone to not discussing genocide. Answering this question goes a long way in helping to understand what philosophy can and cannot do in analysing genocide. Genocide re-enters the philosophical frame as a distinctly modern, but nonetheless ultimately human possibility — one that has a particular genealogy and one that can be explored via its underpinnings in a complex network of philosophical commitments and positions.

Keywords: Max Horkheimer, genocide studies, Theodor Adorno, philosophy

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