Transcendence, symbolic immortality and evil

Hardie-Bick, James (2012) Transcendence, symbolic immortality and evil. Human Studies, 35 (3). pp. 415-428. ISSN 0163-8548

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Ernest Becker’s work addresses the implications that arise from being aware of our own mortality. Like Sartre, Becker recognises that human beings have the potential to transcend and look beyond their immediate situation, but his work also confronts the darker aspects of human existence that arise from our selfawareness. The aim of the paper is to provide an overview of Becker’s work and to show the potential of Becker’s theory of evil to inform a number of contemporary debates in the social sciences. Although Becker’s work directly examines why human beings can act so inhumanly towards one another, his theory is not altogether pessimistic. The paper concludes by arguing that Becker’s theory intended to create new possibilities for living in more creative and humane world.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Becker Death Evil Existentialism Sartre Self-awareness Terrorism Transcendence
Schools and Departments: School of Law, Politics and Sociology > Sociology
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Depositing User: James Hardie-Bick
Date Deposited: 06 Aug 2013 11:59
Last Modified: 06 Aug 2013 11:59
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