The nature of evil

Philosophical Explorations 1 (1):43 – 60 (1998)
We readily claim that great moral catastrophes such as the Holocaust involve evil in some way, although it' not clear what this amounts to in a secular context. This paper seeks to provide a secular account of what evil is. It examines what is intuitively the most plausible account, namely that the evil act involves the production of great suffering (or other disvalue), and argues that such outcomes are neither necessary nor sufficient for an act to be evil. Only an appeal to distinctive patterns of motivation, so it is argued, will allow us to accommodate our intuitionsabout which acts are evil, and hence will provide an adequate account of the nature of evil.
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DOI 10.1080/10001998018538689
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References found in this work BETA
John McDowell (1978). Are Moral Requirements Hypothetical Imperatives? Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 52:13-29+31-42.
Michael Slote (2010). Virtue Ethics. In John Skorupski (ed.), Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie. Routledge 325--347.
John Kekes (1993). Facing Evil. Princeton University Press.

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Citations of this work BETA
Allan Hazlett (2012). Non-Moral Evil. Midwest Studies in Philosophy 36 (1):18-34.
Todd Calder (2013). Is Evil Just Very Wrong? Philosophical Studies 163 (1):177-196.
Christopher Hamilton (1999). The Nature of Evil a Reply to Garrard. Philosophical Explorations 2 (2):122 – 138.

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