Possibility of positive assessment of death fast as a political action

Bük, Fatma Betül
This study addresses the possibility of a positive assessment of the death fast action juxtaposed to the negative image which underlines mortality. This thesis is based on interviews with people who participated in the death fast action in 1996 and the 2000s, protesting the F-type prisons and lockdown in Turkey. The purpose is to understand death fast action and the activists who participated in these actions; in this study, 20 people were interviewed using a semi-structured questionnaire. The data obtained was evaluated and interpreted using a qualitative analysis method, in the form of a case study. By concerning the act of death fast as political action, an alternative conceptualization has been suggested. In this sense, a gap in the literature about this subject has been tried to be filled. The study intends to open the door to the discussion of how Baruch Spinoza, one of the 17th -century thinkers, would approach the act of death fast. Spinoza is included in the study because he tried to understand what a body is capable of; he is a thinker who points to the effort to exist, what a person can do within his/her power, and at the same time, he definitely rejects suicide and asserts that the living being cannot think of anything less than death. The discussion of how such a thinker would think about the death fast action that carries the risk of death was found meaningful. In line with this purpose, the themes obtained and derived from the nterviews briefly associated with a few concepts of Spinoza, which are conatus, potentia, affections, encounters, the will/free will, the understanding of body/mind, and sacrifice. In this regard, the study aims to pave the way for the discussion of Spinoza and death fast action and represent Spinoza’s perspective as an enriching approach to the death fast literature.


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Citation Formats
F. B. Bük, “Possibility of positive assessment of death fast as a political action,” M.S. - Master of Science, Middle East Technical University, 2021.