Peer-Reviewed Journal Details
Mandatory Fields
Arpad Szakolczai
International Political Anthropology
Enlightenment, Modernity, and the Problem of Evil
Optional Fields
liminality; trickster; evil; fairground; technology; public sphere
The aim of this article is to revisit, using some of the main terms of political anthropology, like “liminality” and the “trickster”, the links between Enlightenment, modernity, and the problem of evil. Based on previous work in political anthropology, the article will approach evil through the concept of the “trickster” as a figure of limitlessness, and through the etymology of evil, especially the English etymology as “exceeding due limits”. The central idea that, far from modernity systematically eliminating evil from the world, “evil” in the sense indicated above is at the very heart of modernity. The article will present the three main evils of modernity: the fairground economy, the public sphere as a void, and alchemic technologized science.
Grant Details