Seminar 8 Fanon’s Humanism

We will look at the section ‘Reasons to take Fanon’s Humanism seriously’ of Richard Pithouse’s article ‘That the tool never possess the man’, pp. 2-11.

Thinking about the article and the material from the lecture on humanism, here are some questions to ponder:

  1. What is humanism?
  2. Is Fanon’s endorsement of violence in conflict with his supposed humanism?
  3. Does Fanon think that colonialism shows that humanism is a problematic position?
  4. What point is Fanon making with his description of the Algerian doctor?
  5. Hardt and Negri identify two opposing humanisms in modernity – what are they?
  6. And what is the contrast they draw between the Multitude and the People?
  7. What’s wrong with the second sort of humanism according to them?
  8. On page 9, they identify three conditions that characterise humanity on the first understanding of humanism – what are they?
  9. How do these understandings of humanism map onto Fanon’s view?
  10. Does Fanon’s Humanism escape scepticism about human nature? And does it escape worries to do with the co-existence of brutality with humanism?

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