Metaphilosophy 47 (4-5):585-606 (2016)

Lynne Tirrell
University of Connecticut
Understanding evil requires both addressing the grave wrongs done to the victim and addressing the perpetrator who does these wrongs. Claudia Card's concept of social vitality was developed to explain what génocidaires destroy in their victims. This essay brings that concept into conversation with perpetrator testimony, arguing that the génocidaires’ desire for their own social vitality, achieved through their destruction of the social world of their targets, in fact boomerangs to corrode the vitality of their own lives. This is true whether they succeed or fail in their genocidal project. Card's recent analysis of “being a badass” is brought to bear on the cultivation of evil, and the essay suggests four strategies for meeting Card's “moral challenge of avoiding evil responses to evil.”
Keywords genocide  evil  social death  moral luck  Rwanda
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DOI 10.1111/meta.12220
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References found in this work BETA

Genocidal Language Games.Lynne Tirrell - 2012 - In Ishani Maitra & Mary Kate McGowan (eds.), Speech and Harm: Controversies Over Free Speech. Oxford University Press. pp. 174--221.
Book Review: The Unnatural Lottery. [REVIEW]Brian Rosebury - 1998 - Philosophical Review 107 (2):291-293.

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Citations of this work BETA

Discursive Epidemiology: Two Models.Lynne Tirrell - 2021 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 95 (1):115-142.

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