Cruelty, Singular Individuality, and Peter the Great
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In discussing cruelty toward human beings, I argue that disregarding the singularity of any human being is necessary for treating her or him cruelly. The cruelty of Peter the Great, relying upon the intolerance of any human singular individuality, serves me as a paradigm-case to illustrate that. The cruelty of Procrustes and that of Stalin rely upon similar grounds. Relating to a person’s singularity is sufficient to prevent cruelty toward that person. In contrast, a liberal state of mind or solidarity is insufficient to prevent cruelty and, under some circumstances, may even cause it.
KeywordsCruelty Singular individuality Pscyhical private accessibility Intersubjectivity Interpresonality Self Person Dignity Solidarity Liberalism Despotism Deontology Values Equality Civilization Love Envy Humiliation Torture Slavery Classical Russian literature Originality Plagiarism Immanuel Kant John Kekes Richard Rorty Peter the Great
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