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Reading Sade Today

What is Sade’s legacy in contemporary thought? Depending on the person who approaches his works, there is a revolutionary and liberating Sade or a pernicious, corrupting figure. The predicament is whether to read and take him seriously as a philosopher should do, or to see him as a novelist who remains limited to constructing fantasies. However, in addition to these contrasting viewpoints, we can also try to interpret what is presented to us as a challenge, namely the invitation to address the question of the place that evil occupies in human experience, which would then lead us to wonder whether these writings represent a philosophy of freedom or a philosophy of evil. The former would be emancipating and subversive, rebelling against traditional moral and religious values, while the latter would reveal the excessive, violent dimension of desire and the destructive consequences of boundless rationality.

In this cycle, curated by Antonio Monegal, well-known thinkers will discuss the figure of Sade and his legacy in the realm of philosophy from the standpoints of four concepts that run through his work: “morality”, “transgression”, “politics”, and “desire”.

This activity is part of Sade


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