Jean Améry pp 105-118 | Cite as

Torture and Torturers

  • Eran Fish


In his account of torture, Jean Améry describes not only the act of torture and the experience of the person being tortured, but also the torturers themselves, with their particular psychology. Améry claims that the torture was done by people fully intent on inflicting pain, rather than by mere “bureaucrats of torture”, as some might argue. This description is important for two reasons. First, it is important for understanding the act of torture itself. Torture, I argue, is considered to be a unique moral wrong not for the suffering it inflicts, but for the cruelty it typically manifests. Secondly, the fact that the act of torture reflected something deep in the perpetrators’ personality may explain why blame for the crime remains appropriate long after it had been committed.


Arendt Blameworthiness Cruelty Moral character Torture 


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© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eran Fish
    • 1
  1. 1.Ludwig-Maximilian UniversityMunichGermany

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