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dc.contributor.authorStade, Ronald
dc.contributor.authorRapport, Nigel
dc.identifier.citationStade , R & Rapport , N 2022 , ' An anthropological investigation of cruelty and its contrasts ' , Philosophy & Social Criticism , vol. Online First .
dc.identifier.otherPURE: 280619400
dc.identifier.otherPURE UUID: 19939a22-f4b5-4540-92f6-7b8519bf3b90
dc.identifier.otherRIS: urn:DBE3E9760CA84FDA6A79C09425455E72
dc.identifier.otherScopus: 85131576069
dc.identifier.otherORCID: /0000-0003-2803-0212/work/116598445
dc.identifier.otherWOS: 000808996000001
dc.description.abstractIn liberal political philosophy, from Michel de Montaigne to Judith Shklar, cruelty – the wilful inflicting of pain on another in order to cause anguish and fear – has been singled out as ‘the most evil of all evils’ and as unjustifiable: the ultimate vice. An unconditional rejection and negation of cruelty is taken to be programmatic within a liberal paradigm. In this contribution, two anthropologists triangulate cruelty as a concept with torture (Stade) and with love (Rapport). Treating the capability to practise cruelty and the liability to suffer from cruelty as universal aspects of a human condition, Stade and Rapport aim to instantiate the precise enactment of cruelty, firstly, and secondly, to propose a process of its social negation. CIA training manuals and quotidian practice within the British National Health Service are employed as illustrative materials.
dc.relation.ispartofPhilosophy & Social Criticismen
dc.rightsCopyright © The Author(s) 2022. Open Access. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License ( which permits any use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access page (
dc.subjectCivil attentionen
dc.subjectGN Anthropologyen
dc.subjectSDG 3 - Good Health and Well-beingen
dc.subjectSDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutionsen
dc.titleAn anthropological investigation of cruelty and its contrastsen
dc.typeJournal articleen
dc.description.versionPublisher PDFen
dc.contributor.institutionUniversity of St Andrews. Social Anthropologyen
dc.description.statusPeer revieweden

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