Thomas Moore - Dark Eros. PDF

PDF I heard a presentation Moore gave at Notre Dame a few years ago. He said his project was to convince people that the Marquis de Sade was the most important philosopher of modern times. That seems like a tough row to hoe, but that's what Moore sets out to do in Dark Eros. Using what he calls the “Sadeian imagination,” Moore challenges readers to look squarely at their own “unfathomable and revolting truths.” Moore argues this is a moral obligation because such truths, when repressed or ignored, assert themselves in violence. The task, then, is “to imagine evil in ways that don't destroy us.”

As a practical matter, I'm not sure what that means. I think at the very least it means that in fantasy, anything goes, and in some cases it may be possible to imagine acting out what society deems “evil” in ways that are not only not harmful, but may move one closer to psychic wholeness. Moore might be thinking of artistic and literary representations of what society deems depravities, which is one route the divine Marquis took.

While the “evil” Moore concentrates on is forbidden eroticism, the analysis applies to any instinct. Moore's point seems to be that one should try to consciously and responsibly integrate those “evil” urges into daily life and thereby achieve a richer and more meaningful existence.

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