Killer in our Midst: Part Two. An Analysis of Court Transcripts Pertaining to the Defence of Stewart Wilken in \"Die Staat Teen Stewart Wilken\"

  • Andrea Hurst Philosophy, Centre for Advanced Studies University of Port Elizabeth P.O. Box 1600, Port Elizabeth 6000 South Africa.

Abstract

This article forms the second part of an analysis of documents pertaining to the defence of serial killer Stewart Wilken in Die Staat Teen Stewart Wilken. Modelled on Foucault's analysis of the discursive struggles among various professionals involved in the trial of Pierre Rivière (1975), this analysis similarly aims to examine the discursive alignments and conflicts that underlie any particular event. In Part 1 of this analysis, I argued that the dominant conception of subjectivity, characterised by what I have called Enlightenment autonomy, was invoked unanimously by those representing the discourses of law, psychia try, and psychology operative at Wilken's trial, in order to establish Wilken's full culpability for his crimes. In this unanimity, the counter-discourse of complexity was silenced. In what follows, I aim to trace out the “narrative” of Wilken's defence in much greater detail, in order to show that despite such de facto silencing, the philosophical space for a counter-discourse of complexity may, on reflection, be opened up in the tensions to be found in the testimonies of the expert witnesses. S. Afr. J. Philos. Vol.22(4) 2003: 306-327
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