Dead Serious: Evil and the Ontology of the Undead

In Richard Greene & K. Silem Mohammed (eds.), The Undead and Philosophy. Open Court (2006)
I don’t know whether undead beings exist. I also think it is an open question whether anyone is evil in, say, the way bad guys are depicted in supernatural horror films and serial killer movies. I do think it’s nevertheless puzzling that the undead are frequently portrayed as evil in that way. I’m inclined to think that if we were to stumble across any undead they would be less likely to be evil than any random live person we stumble across. Consider this a call for some undead understanding. I am going to approach these conclusions in a roundabout way. First, I’ll try to sketch something of an ontology of the undead, an account of their nature and variety. Then, I’ll show how these considerations should change how we think about the undead and their purported propensity for evil.
Keywords undead  evil
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