Comics, Crime, and the Moral Self: An Interdisciplinary Study of Criminal Identity

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Comics, Crime, and the Moral Self: An Interdisciplinary Study of Criminal Identity

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dc.contributor.author Giddens, Thomas Philip en_US
dc.date.accessioned 2012-06-22T14:22:08Z en_US
dc.date.accessioned 2013-03-21T10:26:35Z
dc.date.issued 2011-09-29 en_US
dc.description.abstract An ethical understanding of responsibility should entail a richly qualitative comprehension of the links between embodied, unique individuals and their lived realities of behaviour. Criminal responsibility theory broadly adheres to ‘rational choice’ models of the moral self which subsume individuals’ emotionally embodied dimensions under the general direction of their rational will and abstracts their behaviour from corporeal reality. Linking individuals with their behaviour based only on such understandings of ‘rational choice’ and abstract descriptions of behaviour overlooks the phenomenological dimensions of that behaviour and thus its moral significance as a lived experience. To overcome this ethical shortcoming, engagement with the aesthetic as an alternative discourse can help articulate the ‘excessive’ nature of lived reality and its relationship with ‘orthodox’ knowledge; fittingly, the comics form involves interaction of rational, non-rational, linguistic, and non-linguistic dimensions, modelling the limits of conceptual thought in relation to complex reality. Rational choice is predicated upon a split between a contextually embedded self and an abstractly autonomous self. Analysis of the graphic novel Watchmen contends that prioritisation of rational autonomy over sensual experience is symptomatic of a ‘rational surface’ that turns away from the indeterminate ‘chaos’ of complex reality (the unstructured universe), instead maintaining the power of rational and linguistic concepts to order the world. This ‘rational surface’ is maintained by masking that which threatens its stability: the chaos of the infinite difference of living individuals. These epistemological foundations are reconfigured, via Watchmen, enabling engagement beyond the ‘rational surface’ by accepting the generative potential of this living chaos and calling for models of criminal identity that are ‘restless’, acknowledging the unique, shifting nature of individuals, and not tending towards ‘complete’ or stable concepts of the self-as-responsible. As part of the aesthetic methodology of this reconfiguration, a radical extension of legal theory’s analytical canon is developed. en_GB
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10036/3622 en_US
dc.language.iso en en_GB
dc.publisher University of Exeter en_GB
dc.rights.embargoreason To enable publication of the research elsewhere en_GB
dc.subject criminal responsibility en_GB
dc.subject law and aesthetics en_GB
dc.subject legal philosophy en_GB
dc.subject moral philosophy en_GB
dc.subject law and literature en_GB
dc.subject comics en_GB
dc.subject Watchmen en_GB
dc.subject Alan Moore en_GB
dc.subject legal theory en_GB
dc.subject Immanuel Kant en_GB
dc.subject feminist philosophy en_GB
dc.subject metaphysics en_GB
dc.subject masculinity en_GB
dc.subject Friedrich Nietzsche en_GB
dc.subject identity en_GB
dc.subject self en_GB
dc.subject graphic fiction en_GB
dc.title Comics, Crime, and the Moral Self: An Interdisciplinary Study of Criminal Identity en_GB
dc.type Thesis or dissertation en_GB
dc.date.available 2013-12-31T04:00:11Z
dc.contributor.advisor Skinner, Stephen en_US
dc.contributor.advisor Coyle, Sean en_US
dc.contributor.advisor Richardson, Janice en_US
dc.publisher.department School of Law en_GB
dc.type.degreetitle PhD in Law en_GB
dc.type.qualificationlevel Doctoral en_GB
dc.type.qualificationname PhD en_GB


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