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This chapter advocates an “insurgent humanism” in which the human is redefined in tension with persistent critique of relations of violence that destroy and negate life. This humanism is not rooted in an inherent human dignity or in qualities of “the human” deemed morally valuable within a modern/colonial economy of knowledge. But this does not mean that the question of the basis of ethics is superseded. Rather, it invites a reconsideration of the relations between the immanent and the transcendent, between politics and its outside. In conversation with the moral philosophy of Iris Murdoch, the chapter suggests that the sense of good inspiring a radical hope has no vocation to be caught directly within the categories of language. It is known not only through critical sensitivity to the effects of power and violence, but also through a loving attention to the world and to the struggles of others.

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