On Evil

Routledge (2004)
I try to differentiate evil from ordinary wrong-doing without succumbing to a demonic account of evilthat makes the motivation for awful actions different in kind to that for less awful ones. I argue that much - not all - evil is perpetrated by people disturbingly like the rest of us. I discuss the possibility that evil is a dangerous and self-perpetuating concept, licencing us to label people in ways that encourage atrocity. I allow that there is a lot to this suggestion while also insisting that the distinction between wrong and evil is robust. I raise the possibility that evil and ordinary wrong are in some ways orthogonal, so that one act may be more wrong but less evil than another (and conversely.) I might add that my account has nothing to do with theodicy. In fact I think the traditional 'problem of evil' is a distraction from more important issues.
Keywords Good and evil  evil motivation  barrier theory of evil  banality of evil  atrocity
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Call number BJ1401.M67 2004
ISBN(s) 0415305195   9780415305198
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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.
Paul Formosa (2007). Understanding Evil Acts. Human Studies 30 (2):57 - 77.

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