Labyrinth Books and IAS Present a Public Conversation with Didier Fassin and Axel Honneth

Didier Fassin, James D. Wolfensohn Professor in the School of Social Science and Axel Honneth, Director of the Institute for Social Research at the Goethe University of Frankfurt and Distinguished Visiting Professor in the School of Social Science, will examine various questions around life and punishment in a conversation discussing two of Fassin’s recently authored books at Labyrinth Books on Tuesday, November 13, 2018, from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. in an event co-sponsored by the Institute for Advanced Study.

In Life: A Critical User’s Manual (Polity Press, 2018), Fassin explores how to think of life in its dual expression—matter and experience, the living and the lived. Using research conducted on three continents about refugees, migrants, conflict victims and seriously ill persons, Fassin attempts to conceive of the biological and biographical together and thus reconcile naturalist and humanist approaches by discussing three concepts: forms of life, ethics of life, and politics of life.

In The Will to Punish (Oxford University Press, 2018), Fassin develops an inquiry into the foundations of punishment. Using an approach that is both genealogical and ethnographic, based on long-term research on the police, courts and prisons, he presents a critical dialogue with moral philosophy and legal theory, asking three questions: What is punishment? Why do we punish? Who gets punished?

Read more about the event here.


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