David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Human Studies 30 (2):57 - 77 (2007)
Evil acts strike us, by their very nature, as not only horrifying and reprehensible, but also as deeply puzzling. No doubt for reasons like this, evil has often been seen as mysterious, demonic and beyond our human powers of understanding. The question I examine in this paper is whether or not we can (or would want to) overcome this puzzlement in the face of evil acts. I shall argue that we ought want to (in all cases) and can (in at least most cases) come to understand why people perpetrate evil acts. This is an appealing conclusion as it allows us to take practical steps to both minimise future occurrences of evil and come to terms with its past abominations.
|Keywords||Arendt Eichmann Empathy Evil Explanation Hitler Identification Simulation Theory Understanding|
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References found in this work BETA
Christine M. Korsgaard (1996). The Sources of Normativity. Cambridge University Press.
Immanuel Kant (1996). The Metaphysics of Morals. Cambridge University Press.
John M. Doris (2002). Lack of Character: Personality and Moral Behavior. Cambridge University Press.
Claudia Card (2002). The Atrocity Paradigm: A Theory of Evil. Oxford University Press.
Susan Neiman (2004). Evil in Modern Thought: An Alternative History of Philosophy. Princeton University Press.
Citations of this work BETA
Paul Formosa (2007). Kant on the Radical Evil of Human Nature. Philosophical Forum 38 (3):221–245.
Paul Formosa (2008). The Problems with Evil. Contemporary Political Theory 7 (4):395-415.
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