History and Guilt in the Moscow Show Trials

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History and Guilt in the Moscow Show Trials

Type: Bachelor thesis
Title: History and Guilt in the Moscow Show Trials
Author: Schlienkamp, Jesse
Issue Date: 2018-08-30
Keywords: Merleau-Ponty
Abstract: In this paper I will compare Arthur Koestler’s fictional character N. Rubashov to Soviet revolutionary N.I. Bukharin. This comparison allows me to show two different approaches, bourgeois and Marxist, to both guilt and history. Koestler’s Rubashov was criticized by Maurice Merleau-Ponty for giving an insincere confession because he argues that Rubashov had an inadequate understanding of the history surrounding him; as opposed to Bukharin. I shall argue that although Merleau-Ponty rightly argues that Rubashov has a different approach to history, I do not believe it is enough to disregard his confession as insincere. His understanding develops in the book and this allows Rubashov a solution to his apparent paradox of a bourgeois sense of history with a Marxist sense of guilt. He confesses to his crimes for different reasons than Bukharin, but his confession is of the same nature. This shows that Merleau-Ponty’s conception of guilt and history is flawed and needs revising.
Supervisor: Chouraqui, Frank
Faculty: Faculty of Humanities
Department: Wijsbegeerte (Bachelor)
Specialisation: Filosofie van mens, techniek en cultuur
ECTS Credits: 10
Handle: http://hdl.handle.net/1887/64526

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