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.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 14,275
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

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.
Peter Brian Barry (2011). In Defense of the Mirror Thesis. Philosophical Studies 155 (2):199-205.
Samantha Vice (2012). Beauty, Mourning and the Commemoration of Evil. Midwest Studies in Philosophy 36 (1):142-162.

View all 6 citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

131 ( #11,446 of 1,700,363 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

16 ( #42,923 of 1,700,363 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.