Homo Pulsator, or an Outline for a Phenomenology of Beating
This paper aims to investigate a behaviour which, along with many others, is decisive in understanding human nature. Together with zoon politicon, homo homini lupus, homo faber and homo ludens, which describe trajectories of the human destiny, homo pulsator or the human being beating or bullying another human may be equally invoked as relevant in this respect. In this study, we provide a phenomenological description of this strange human behaviour; this is not a sociological perspective (which can allow us to analyse the phenomenon only as a form of anomie), nor a psychological or anthropological approach (directions that open up an interpretation starting from the decisive thesis of our aggressive nature), but a cultural perspective: beating as a cultural institution. What does this perspective mean? To understand this behaviour as one consciously set. From the perspective of Aristotelian determinism, the phenomenology of beating cannot be understood without its final causality. What is the purpose of school beating, as encouraged by the great humanist thinkers? Or of beating as a form of public punishment or as a means of torture? By asking and answering such questions, we sketch the main lines of the phenomenology of this bizarre behaviour of human beings.
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