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@joecarter, h/t Payam Sharifi)” width=”640″ height=”537″ srcset=”https://hyperallergic.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/kant-critiques-trigger-warning-lede.jpg 1034w, https://hyperallergic.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/kant-critiques-trigger-warning-lede-214×180.jpg 214w, https://hyperallergic.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/kant-critiques-trigger-warning-lede-1024×860.jpg 1024w” sizes=”(max-width: 640px) 100vw, 640px”>

(via @joecarter, h/t Payam Sharifi)

Culture in the 21st century is a minefield of trigger warnings, a nebulous type of cautionary note that is deployed as a way to warn people about the content they’re about to encounter.

[Trigger warning: this post contains excessive uses of the term “trigger warning.”]

There is no consensus on what constitutes a trigger warning. Some people feel adamant that they should exist; I personally think they are needed only in extreme cases. But the one I’ve posted above, though not explicitly labeled a trigger warning, is probably the most peculiar one I’ve encountered. I wonder how many parents are helping their kids read 18th-century philosopher Immanuel Kant’s The Critique of Pure Reason?

Overuse of “trigger warning” has become so pervasive that the term is prefaced by its very own trigger warning over at the Everyday Feminism blog (image is theirs):

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Hrag Vartanian

Hrag Vartanian is editor-in-chief and co-founder of Hyperallergic. You can follow him at @hragv.

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