Evil and Human Agency: Understanding Collective Evildoing

New York: Cambridge University Press (2005)
  Copy   BIBTEX


Evil is a poorly understood phenomenon. In this provocative 2005 book, Professor Vetlesen argues that to do evil is to intentionally inflict pain on another human being, against his or her will, and causing serious and foreseeable harm. Vetlesen investigates why and in what sort of circumstances such a desire arises, and how it is channeled, or exploited, into collective evildoing. He argues that such evildoing, pitting whole groups against each other, springs from a combination of character, situation, and social structure. By combining a philosophical approach inspired by Hannah Arendt, a psychological approach inspired by C. Fred Alford and a sociological approach inspired by Zygmunt Bauman, and bringing these to bear on the Holocaust and ethnic cleansing in the former Yugoslavia, Vetlesen shows how closely perpetrators, victims, and bystanders interact, and how aspects of human agency are recognized, denied, and projected by different agents.



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 91,349

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Evil, Ignorance, and the 9/11 Terrorists.Todd Calder - 2004 - Social Philosophy Today 20:53-66.
Moral Monsters and Saints.Daniel M. Haybron - 2002 - The Monist 85 (2):260-284.
Hannah Arendt on conscience and evil.Arne Johan Vetlesen - 2001 - Philosophy and Social Criticism 27 (5):1-33.
Law and Evil: Philosophy, Politics, Psychoanalysis.Ari Hirvonen & Janne Porttikivi (eds.) - 2009 - New York, N.Y.: Routledge-Cavendish.
Smerte.Arne Johan Vetlesen - 2004 - Lysaker: Dinamo forlag.
Rethinking Evil: Contemporary Perspectives.María Pía Lara (ed.) - 2001 - University of California Press.


Added to PP

62 (#254,871)

6 months
7 (#411,886)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Arne Vetlesen
University of Oslo

References found in this work

No references found.

Add more references