Nietzsche Foucault And Arendt Punishment Analysis

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On the Works of Nietzsche, Foucault, and Arendt: Punishment The unparalleled scale of human suffering during World War I (then known as the Great War) and World War II had a profound impact on the notion of punishment. The unprecedented tragedy paved way for a new outlook on morality and justice regarding the crimes committed. The works On the Genealogy of Morality, Discipline and Punish, and Eichmann in Jerusalem by Friedrich Nietzsche, Michel Foucault, and Hannah Arendt respectively all cover the idea of punishment as it follows a common thread of power. In these works, one can observe the transition from Nietzsche’s pre-war piece with a heavy emphasis on the origins of punishment to Foucault who focuses on the applications of punishment in the penal system. Arendt’s work, a journalistic account of a real post-war trial, provides the context for pre- and post-war beliefs on punishment with a narrative of punishment for Eichmann’s banal evil and careless morality. Nietzsche’s seminal work On the Genealogy of Morality (as the Genealogy in the name implies) provides a systematic origination story of punishment as a debt paid for an unfulfilled promise to a response to a violation of a ratified codex of laws – all whilst society gains a sense of mercy and more depth to why one is punished. …show more content…
Both writers share that the notion that the right to punish is one of power. Foucault’s works also served as an extension to Nietzsche’s origination story. It is easy to note the radical shift in societal role. Nietzsche ends his account much with a tacit acceptance of the public nature of punishment, but Foucault depicts a shift to the more insidious. The great penal power becomes hidden out of sight, and micropenality takes its place. Although less cruel, the punishments and surveillance become constant factors. Finally, both similarly see punishment as a method to form habits in a

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