In need of relevant philosophers to research for topic

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Reply Sat 14 May, 2011 09:43 pm
I am a psych student who is looking at reasons for our state's seemingly ineffective treatment methods for its domestic violence problem. I want to look through the lens of philosophy first at 2 things:
1. How someone can be violent toward a loved one, and
2. Why a victim/survivor of domestic violence would go back to an abuser or end up in another abusive relationship.

This isn't for a grade. It is a project I have decided to take on myself for the next six months or so. I know I haven't been very specific, I suppose because I'm not sure exactly how I'll narrow down the topic in the end. Right now I just want to explore and read as much as I can.

My first instincts were John Searle, Levinas, Sartre, and Arendt's "Life of Mind," Merleau-Ponty, and Locke's "Essay Concerning Human Understanding". I've also thought of bringing in Kohlberg's ideas about moral reasoning. Are there others I should be looking into?
chaz wyman
Reply Fri 24 Jun, 2011 08:39 pm
This query is an anthropological and psychological question. None of these philosophers you mention ever addressed this issue.
You might do better to formulate a general questionnaire for people who have first hand experience of abuse.
As a child I saw my mother allow herself to get beaten and to invite her abuser back to the family home after he had spent time in prison for his abuse.
This was a painful and frustrating thing to witness for me and my siblings.
No amount of philosophising has led me to understand this behaviour.
Reply Mon 15 Aug, 2011 10:05 pm
Ah thanks for the help. I'm so sorry to not have responded sooner. The last time I check to see if anyone had provided suggestions, there were none, so I assumed no one was interested.

I was hoping to find some suggestions for philosophical underpinnings of the most commonly used models for "treatment" of batterers. I think Im going to head in the direction of trying to figure out whether current models are also appropriate for the fast-growing population of female offenders.

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