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Crime and Punishment Philosophical background. Role of Buffoonery 19th century Russian writers used buffoons and comic characters as vehicles for competing.

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Presentation on theme: "Crime and Punishment Philosophical background. Role of Buffoonery 19th century Russian writers used buffoons and comic characters as vehicles for competing."— Presentation transcript:

1 Crime and Punishment Philosophical background


3 Role of Buffoonery 19th century Russian writers used buffoons and comic characters as vehicles for competing ideological issues – especially Gogol and Dostoevsky Marmeloadov –alcoholic with an ironic metaphysical side

4 Carnavalsque Carnavalesque behavior calls attention to questions about environmental influence (key issue for utilitarians and Chernyskevky) and psychological disorders (Freud said that D showed an understanding of the mind – through his characters – that surpasses the psychologists of his time) Questions Who should care for poor people? Who is responsible for their education and welfare? Knows that redemptive suffering will lead to salvation Marmeledov is a holy fool

5 Nadryf Nadryf is a psychological concept meaning self induced suffering or more precisely self lacerating Marmeladov causes suffering then seeks punishment – beatings/ vindicates behavior of neglected poor people. Shame and redemptive suffering. Spiritual power in the downtrodden that criminals are drawn to – D observed this in prison. Sonia is the holy fool who sacrifices herself for her family by prostitution. Holy fool = yurodivy

6 Nadryf Katerina also has a pattern of self conscious shame and redemptive suffering. Bloody handkerchief is her symbolic nadryf. K is voice of hotly debated issues in the 1860’s Utilitarians – K blames her position on the environment and social circumstances. Behaviorist and determinist (Chernyshevsky – D’s polemical target in C&P) K’s outburst explained as a logical reaction to her situation Christian philosophy – closer to D’s view – is spiritual fallenness Book creates tension between the two philosophies – personal guilt and unfavorable social circumstances

7 Utilitarianism Utilitarianism – the philosophical doctrine that considers utility as the criterion of action, and the useful as good or worthwhile. Proposed by philosophers Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mill that all moral, social, or political action should be directed toward achieving the greatest good for the greatest number of people.

8 John Stuart Mill

9 Jeremy Bentham

10 Nietzsche

11 Chernyshevsky Chernyshevsky What is to Be Done - utopian socialist Chernyshevsky’s “Rational Egoism” based on Stuart and Mill – ultimate criteria of morality was utility Cherny taught that morality was a product of physiology; when R is filled with self disgust and horror after his “rehearsal” of the crime, he stops to have a beer, instantly feels better, and shrugs his moral discomposure off as a lack of nourishment. Radicals moved beyond Cherny’s position to harsher doctrine that encouraged elite superior individuals to step over all existing moral norms for the sake of advancing the interest of mankind as a whole A radical student of Cherny tried to shoot the Czar in 1866, also in 1866 an ex student killed a pawnbroker

12 Prisoner Dilemma 

13 Chernyshevsky

14 Nihilism D’s inspiration for the novel was a desire to counteract the consequences he could see as arising from the moral and social doctrines of social nihilism. Nihilism is the rejection morals Nihilists rejected moral absolutes and Christian beliefs and said that values were relative and that self interest (rational egoism) is to the end of perfecting social problems. Nihilist believed that ethics should be based on scientific claims and that man could create a perfect society (rational utopia) and live according to the principle of self enlightened interest.

15 nihilist Nihilist achieve aims by 1) suppressing spontaneous feelings by relying on reason to master the contradictory and irrational potentialities of the human personality 2) encouraging growth of a proto- Nietzschean egoism among the elite of superior individuals to whom the hopes for the future were to be entrusted.

16 Nihilist Nihilists believed that irrational behavior and psychological disorder - especially crime - were the result of social forces and environment (Katerina) R has proud idealistic egoism like the Nihilists Utilitarian altruistic justification for the proposed crime is expressed in the tavern scene – why not kill a wretched, rapacious, useless old moneylender and employ the funds to alleviate the human misery so omnipresent in R’s world? Men discussing this idea in a public place (tavern) shows how commonplace the ideas of utilitarianism were

17 Nihilist D takes nihilist ideas to the extreme – carnivalesque - he knew that they had an altruistic and humanitarian aim inspired by human suffering (believes Russians are inherently moral ) but that these ideas will cause negative effects D believes the means never justify the ends D believed in man’s fallenness and satirized Nihilism through his characters – R’s justification, Luzhin’s self centered motives, Lebezyatinikov’s vulgarization of progressive ideas, and Svidragailov R compassionate one moment becomes coldly unconcerned and contemptuous egoist in the next, totally indifferent to the misfortunes that had stirred his pity.

18 Superman Theories Hegel Hegelian superman exists for the noble purposes in the view that if the ends are noble then the means can be justified. Emphasis on ends not means Stands above the ordinary man, but works for the benefit of mankind

19 Hegel

20 Nietzsche superman Does not exist for the benefit of society Exists for his own personal gratification Aims are not prompted by any type of nobility but by self gratification God is dead – people can assert their own will

21 Superman theory Possesses the strongest will and is able to make his desires and his powers dominant over others Must stand completely alone and not allow his will to be influenced by others – this isolates him from society R throughout his years in Petersburg cut himself off from community and the normal moral social world. Horrified at speaking to others. After crime completely exiled. Need to overcome alienation is at war with vanity and egotistical pride.

22 Luzhin Lampoon of the radicals “younger generation” Utilitarian logic - same as R’s logic Progress in name of “science and economic truth” goes against the Bible’s “love thy neighbor” - two shivering people Private charity was seen by the Utilirarians as demeaning to the receiver Christian morality of love and self sacrifice seen as useless Engagement to landlady’s daughter who was “fond of giving alms to the poor and always dreaming of a nunnery” was an example of R’s desire for self sacrifice bordering on martyrdom – desire to comfort those that others find repellent. R saw the marriage as a heroic act. Utilirarianism offers a different kind of heroism. The two had argued about their beliefs – she may have put the brakes on him until her death.

23 Lebezyatinikov Lebezyatinikov is a Utilitraian with altruistic aims – not as egotistical Andrei is foremost a young progressive Fabled interesting circles- socialist, utilitarian, and nihilist dudes Andrei tends to exaggerate and distort ideas Speech is confident and presumptuous, but he is stupid Passionate about what he believes and latches onto ideas “Half taught petty tyrant who makes a point of instantly latching onto the most fashionable current idea, only to vulgarize it at once, to make an instant caricature of everything they themselves serve, sometimes quite sincerely”

24 Andrei Kind – altruistic – wants to do good Talk bigger than walk Doesn’t understand own propaganda Commune Dunia taking a lover summarizes issues radicals cared about in 1860’s Communes appeared after What is to Be Done Andrei discusses woman question but he hit Katerina Says he respects Sonia for her protest against social order – crime was an act against the environment What is to Be Done discusses being able to enter rooms without knocking Letting wife take a lover – parody of ideas about love and jealousy in WITBD

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