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Conference papers

De quoi l'utopie est-elle la connaissance ? Peine, règle et langage (autour d'Orwell)

Abstract : What are we supposed to learn from utopian/dystopian fiction – beyond the obvious fact that the state of the world could be better, or worse ? What can these fables tell us about criminal penalty as a concept and as practice ? Conversely, what can punishment tell us of the limits of utopia as a tale and as discourse ? By stressing 1984's explicit references to the meticulous elimination of anything vaguely resembling a rule, while putting the novel in the perspective of Orwell's social and colonial experience of penal injustice, this paper shows that interpretations of Orwell inspired by the likes of Rorty, Foucault or Deleuze, which are grounded on power, discipline or control, somehow miss their target. No mere “satire” nor “prophecy”, nor even “thought experiment”, 1984 expresses the deep-seated grammar of our liberal conception of penal law, as Wittgenstein would put it. While Orwell aims in no way to dismiss utopia as intrinsically dangerous, 1984 however shows that the element of perfection it contains cannot be grasped by law. In this respect, the “Last Utopia” of human rights (S. Moyn) is certainly not one.
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Submitted on : Saturday, March 16, 2019 - 9:46:28 AM
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  • HAL Id : hal-01961312, version 3


Kevin Ladd. De quoi l'utopie est-elle la connaissance ? Peine, règle et langage (autour d'Orwell). Peine et Utopie. Représentations de la sanction dans les oeuvres utopiques. Colloque international de Nice., Dec 2017, Nice, France. ⟨hal-01961312v3⟩



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