|Abstract||The moralistic term ‘wickedness’ has fallen on hard times. Part of the problem is that the term and its cognates are ambiguous and some uses of the term are clearly harmless or rather mild terms of disapprobation: a harsh winter might be described as a “wicked season”; informally, a particularly talented musician might be said to have performed a “wicked solo” or described as being “wicked awesome!” and so forth. However, ‘wicked’ is also associated with synonyms like ‘ungodly’ and ‘blasphemous’ and ‘impious’ —terminology that perhaps belongs to an outdated or parochial moral vernacular. Still, some of our best moral philosophers—no less than Stanley Benn, Joel Feinberg and Ronald Milo—have found the subject interesting and relevant enough to distinguish varieties of wickedness. One reason to reconsider the concept of wickedness is because they have. Another reason to reconsider the concept of wickedness is because further reflection on it might reveal something about the concept of evil. More specifically, reconsidering wickedness might reveal something about what evil people are like. Or so I shall argue. Indeed, one standard primary definition of the term equates wickedness with being “evil or morally wrong.” Essentially, I shall argue that the term, appropriately understood, is perfectly adequate—that the conception of wickedness that emerges from Milo and Feinberg and especially Benn illuminates what it is to be an evil person.|
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Similar books and articles
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Ronald D. Milo (1998). Virtue, Knowledge, and Wickedness. Social Philosophy and Policy 15 (01):196-.
Ronald D. Milo (1983). Wickedness. American Philosophical Quarterly 20 (1):69 - 79.
Cyril Edwin Mitchinson Joad (1939). Guide to Modern Wickedness. London, Faber and Faber Limited.
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