Mimetic Evil : A Conceptual and Ethical Study

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Airaksinen , T 2020 , ' Mimetic Evil : A Conceptual and Ethical Study ' , Problemos : Filosofijos leidinys , vol. 98 , no. 2 , pp. 58-70 . https://doi.org/10.15388/problemos.98.5

Title: Mimetic Evil : A Conceptual and Ethical Study
Author: Airaksinen, Timo
Other contributor: University of Helsinki, Faculty Common Matters
Date: 2020-10
Language: eng
Number of pages: 13
Belongs to series: Problemos : Filosofijos leidinys
ISSN: 1392-1126
DOI: https://doi.org/10.15388/problemos.98.5
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/325075
Abstract: Irony and sarcasm are common linguistic tropes. They are both based on falsehoods that the speaker pretends to be true. I briefly characterize their differences. A third trope exists that works when the relevant propositions are true – yet its rhetorical effect resembles irony and sarcasm, I call it mocking. It is mimetic evil: an agent copies another so that the result ridicules him. The image is, in a limited way, true of him and it hurts; we all are vulnerable. I provide a systematic framework for understanding this phenomenon, mocking, in terms of emulation and simulation. Finally, I introduce an idea of universal mimesis and discuss René Gir-ard’s theory of desire. He argues that desires are copies of a model. This may not be possible, and I suggest a modification to his theory. I pay attention to his idea of mimetic desire as a source of hatred, which is elated to what I call here mimetic mocking.
Subject: 611 Philosophy
Irony
Mocking
Emulation
Simulation
Girard
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