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Regular version of the site

Article

On Threat

Crisis and Critique. 2017. Vol. 4. No. 1. P. 123-143.

A threat is a strange thing—for it is neither simply a deed done, nor undone. But if we think the threat in terms of the presence or absence of an actual or potential threat—as the history of philosophy (from the Greeks, through Hegel, to us) has done, then we miss what is threatening. For the threat—whether to life and limb, freedom or identity, or to an individual or group, family and friends, civil society or a state or the world as a whole—is the suspension of action. Then the threat is prior to possibility and impossibility, necessity and contingency, presence and absence. But this too, is a threat—and one that implicates us—at least insofar as the implied threat implies the threat of implication.