Care of the World

Volume 11 of the series Studies in Global Justice pp 83-94


Modernity and Fear

  • Elena PulciniAffiliated withDipartimento di Filosofia, Universita’ Degli Studi Di Firenze Email author 

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This chapter argues that to respond to this question, it is necessary to make a preliminary comparison with Hobbes’s reflection, as the representative paradigm of modernity. Here fear performs, albeit with sacrificial results, a productive function: namely it is capable of promoting the preservation of life and the social and political order. The fear of death, or rather the fear of the other as causing death, for Hobbes becomes a source of reasonableness that leads individuals to build a civil and political society to guarantee security. The certainty and proximity of the danger cause a self-preserving reaction which, despite requiring man to relinquish his rights and passions, frees him from conflicts and ensures, through the construction of an exonerating and protective artifice, a safe life and social and political order.