Crime, Memory, and Justice
Towards the beginning of the Orestaeia, Cassandra says: there is no god of healing in this story. At the end, it looks as if Athena proves her wrong. What the goddess of wisdom offers is neither revenge nor, strictly speaking, justice, but a resolution meant to heal. But can a community heal such wounds? I will briefly discuss recent debates over history and memory in Germany and the United States to ask how they further, and prevent healing.
Susan Neiman is director of the Einstein Forum. She studied philosophy at Harvard University and the Freie Universität Berlin and was professor of philosophy at Yale University and Tel Aviv University before coming to the Einstein Forum in 2000. Her works, translated into many languages, include The Unity of Reason: Rereading Kant (1994); Evil in Modern Thought (2002); Moral Clarity: A Guide for Grown-up Idealists (2008); Why Grow Up? Subversive Thoughts for an Infantile Age (2014) and Learning from the Germans (2019). She is a member of the Berlin-Brandenburgische Akademie der Wissenschaften and the American Philosophical Society and most recently winner of the August Bebel Preis (2021).