Genocide: The Act as Idea (Pennsylvania Studies in Human Rights) (Hardcover)

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— From Jewish American and Holocaust Literature Conference


The term "genocide"--"group killing"--which first appeared in Raphael Lemkin's 1944 book, Axis Rule in Occupied Europe, had by 1948 established itself in international law through the United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. Since then the charge of genocide has been both widely applied but also contested. In Genocide: The Act as Idea, Berel Lang examines and illuminates the concept of genocide, at once articulating difficulties in its definition and proposing solutions to them. In his analysis, Lang explores the relation of genocide to group identity, individual and corporate moral responsibility, the concept of individual and group intentions, and the concept of evil more generally.

The idea of genocide, Lang argues, represents a notable advance in the history of political and ethical thought which proposed alternatives to it, like "crimes against humanity," fail to take into account.

About the Author

Berel Lang, Professor of Philosophy Emeritus at the State University of New York, Albany, is the author among other books of Act and Idea in the Nazi Genocide and, in 2013, Primo Levi: The Matter of a Life.

Product Details
ISBN: 9780812248852
ISBN-10: 0812248856
Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press
Publication Date: December 13th, 2016
Pages: 224
Language: English
Series: Pennsylvania Studies in Human Rights