I claim that Mill has a theory of poetry which he uses to reconcile nineteenth century associationist psychology, the tendency of the intellect to dissolve associations, and the need for educated members of society to desire utilitarian ends. The heart of the argument is that Mill thinks reading poetry encourages us to feel the feelings of others, and thus to develop pleasurable associations with the pleasurable feelings of others and painful associations with the painful feelings of others. Once the associations (...) are developed, they are supported and maintained by our natural capacity for sympathy and by external elements in society, and provide motivation for the pursuit of utilitarian ends. Further, the additional support causes the associations to be strengthened to the extent that they come to be seen as ‘natural and necessary’, and as such are immune from the dissolving force of the intellect. (shrink)
The existing literature on the development of recombinant DNA technology and genetic engineering tends to focus on Stanley Cohen and Herbert Boyer's recombinant DNA cloning technology and its commercialization starting in the mid-1970s. Historians of science, however, have pointedly noted that experimental procedures for making recombinant DNA molecules were initially developed by Stanford biochemist Paul Berg and his colleagues, Peter Lobban and A. Dale Kaiser in the early 1970s. This paper, recognizing the uneasy disjuncture between scientific authorship and legal (...) invention in the history of recombinant DNA technology, investigates the development of recombinant DNA technology in its full scientific context. I do so by focusing on Stanford biochemist Berg's research on the genetic regulation of higher organisms. As I hope to demonstrate, Berg's new venture reflected a mass migration of biomedical researchers as they shifted from studying prokaryotic organisms like bacteria to studying eukaryotic organisms like mammalian and human cells. It was out of this boundary crossing from prokaryotic to eukaryotic systems through virus model systems that recombinant DNA technology and other significant new research techniques and agendas emerged. Indeed, in their attempt to reconstitute 'life' as a research technology, Stanford biochemists' recombinant DNA research recast genes as a sequence that could be rewritten thorough biochemical operations. The last part of this paper shifts focus from recombinant DNA technology's academic origins to its transformation into a genetic engineering technology by examining the wide range of experimental hybridizations which occurred as techniques and knowledge circulated between Stanford biochemists and the Bay Area's experimentalists. Situating their interchange in a dense research network based at Stanford's biochemistry department, this paper helps to revise the canonized history of genetic engineering's origins that emerged during the patenting of Cohen-Boyer's recombinant DNA cloning procedures. (shrink)
Paul’s Epistle to the Galatians, read on important Christian feasts, can be commented on from various perspectives: as a documents about mission, about warning with regard to the difficulties concerning the life of a believer, as one about the differences between Jews and Christians, or/and as one about freedom. It seems to us that within this text the Apostle intended to emphasize especially the latest aspect. St. John Chrysostom considered this document so important that he included it in his (...) Liturgy. (shrink)
: This paper focuses on cases of epistemically transformative experiences, as Paul calls them, cases where we have radically different experiences that teach us something we would not have learned otherwise. Paul raises the new and rather intriguing question of whether epistemic transformative experiences pose a general problem for the very possibility of rational decision-making. It is argued that there is an important grain of truth in Paul’s set up and solution when it is applied to a (...) certain narrowly defined set of cases – choices to have a new taste experience in a safe environment, where no important objective values are at stake. But the way she generalizes this approach to large-scale life choices, such as the choice to become a parent, is less convincing. Furthermore, given a proper understanding of revelatory value, there is no need to reconfigure the agent’s choice situation in order to enable rational decision-making. Keywords: Transformative Experience; Rational Decision-Making; Revelatory Value; Subjective Value La riconfigurazione dei problemi decisionali nell’ottica di Transformative Experiences di L.A. Paul Riassunto: Questo lavoro si concentra sui casi di esperienze epistemicamente trasformative, come le definisce Paul, casi in cui abbiamo esperienze radicalmente differenti che ci insegnano qualcosa che non avremmo appreso diversamente. Paul solleva una questione nuova e alquanto intrigante, ossia se le esperienze epistemicamente trasformative pongano un problema generale per l’effettiva possibilità della decisione razionale. Si sosterrà come vi sia un importante elemento di verità nella posizione e nella soluzione di Paul, se riferite a un ristretto numero di casi – la scelta di provare una nuova esperienza in un ambiente sicuro, dove non sono in gioco valori oggettivamente importanti. E, tuttavia, il modo in cui Paul generalizza questo approccio investendo un vasto ambito di scelte di vita, quali la scelta di diventare genitore, è meno convincente. Inoltre, data un’adeguata comprensione di valori rivelativi, non c’è bisogno di riconfigurare il contesto di scelta dell’agente per attivare un processo decisionale razionale. Parole chiave: Esperienza trasformativa; Decisione razionale; Valore rivelativo; Valore soggettivo. (shrink)
Paperback reprint of a classic study first published forty years ago. Allen examines the practical dimensions of Paul's missionary activity and urges the contemporary relevance of these same methods.--L. S. F.
For almost half a century, the person most responsible for fomenting brouhahas regarding degrees of plasticity in the writing of histories has been Hayden White. Yet, despite the voluminous responses provoked by White’s work, almost no effort has been made to treat White’s writings in a systematic yet sympathetic way as a philosophy of history. Herman Paul’s book begins to remedy that lack and does so in a carefully considered and extremely scholarly fashion. In his relatively brief six chapters, (...)Paul packs a wealth of information. He convincingly demonstrates that a guiding theme of White’s work from earliest times has been that historians have no choice but to impose a structure on historical data and thus bear responsibility for structures so imposed. As such, a key philosophical question concerns on what bases White contends that a freedom of choice exists regarding forms given to recorded histories. This essay focuses on how Paul argues for a unified vision that answers this question, as well as how he offers an original and comprehensive conception of White’s writings. (shrink)
The purpose of Pope John Paul''s encyclicalCentesimus Annus (CA) is to propound the foundations of a just economic order and to sketch its essential characteristics. As such he essentially provides an orientation or moral compass for the political economy rather than a precise road map. This article first reviews the principal components of CA and then analyzes and evaluates its central contentions on both cultural and economic grounds.
Within New Testament writings, but in a special way in Paul’s letters, we can observe a significant presence of the greek term parresía, or frank language. This term was not only a rhetorical-linguistic instrument, on Paul’s contemporary time, but an attitude made by the speaker, or by the epistolar author before his recipients. On Eph 6,19, we see this term and its relation with the evangelizing mission of the author. Moreover, this concept was not only a linguistic (...) function for Paul’s writings and time actions, but it can have an effectiveness in present time. (shrink)
to appear in Lambert, E. and J. Schwenkler (eds.) Transformative Experience (OUP) -/- L. A. Paul (2014, 2015) argues that the possibility of epistemically transformative experiences poses serious and novel problems for the orthodox theory of rational choice, namely, expected utility theory — I call her argument the Utility Ignorance Objection. In a pair of earlier papers, I responded to Paul’s challenge (Pettigrew 2015, 2016), and a number of other philosophers have responded in similar ways (Dougherty, et al. (...) 2015, Harman 2015) — I call our argument the Fine-Graining Response. Paul has her own reply to this response, which we might call the Authenticity Reply. But Sarah Moss has recently offered an alternative reply to the Fine-Graining Response on Paul’s behalf (Moss 2017) — we’ll call it the No Knowledge Reply. This appeals to the knowledge norm of action, together with Moss’ novel and intriguing account of probabilistic knowledge. In this paper, I consider Moss’ reply and argue that it fails. I argue first that it fails as a reply made on Paul’s behalf, since it forces us to abandon many of the features of Paul’s challenge that make it distinctive and with which Paul herself is particularly concerned. Then I argue that it fails as a reply independent of its fidelity to Paul’s intentions. (shrink)
L.A. Paul has recently argued that, on the standard model of rationality, individuals cannot make rational decisions about whether to have a child or not. In this paper, I show that Paul’s arguments do not plausibly demonstrate that the standard model of rationality precludes rational decisions to have a child. I argue that there are phenomenal and non-phenomenal values that can be used to determine the value that having a child will have for us and, in turn, that (...) can be used to make rational decisions about whether to have a child or not. I also argue that we can have an approximate idea of what it is like for us to have a child, even before we have a child and that, on the standard model, this is sufficient to make rational decisions to have a child. (shrink)
Biblical cartography has elaborated a master narrative of Paul’s missionary activity. This master narrative, which clearly distinguishes between three different journeys, is omnipresent and can easily be found in Bibles and atlases. Nevertheless, Paul’s letters and the book of Acts do not support such a clear distinction. The present study contends that the distinction between three missionary journeys is a modern construct and that this way of representing Paul’s missionary activity has a significant impact on how we (...) understand it. By representing Paul’s missionary activity as an orderly sequence of three travels, the maps not only minimise the novelty of his independent mission but also minimise Paul’s confrontation with the Jerusalem church. In this representation, he is no longer the marginal leader of a minority movement within the nascent church, but ‘the’ missionary. The portrayal of the missionary activity of Paul in biblical maps is an example of the uncritical transfer of exegetical traditions, and of the role of these traditions in the creation of a master narrative of Christian origins. (shrink)
Paul's letter to the Romans depicts Sin as one of the anti-God powers whose final defeat the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ guarantees. The framework of cosmic battle is essential for reading and interpreting this letter in the life of the church.
Richard Paul changed the face and the practice of critical thinking for hundreds of thousands of educators, professionals, and reflective persons across the world. In this paper I describe Paul’s goals and, briefly, some of his achievements in articulating his robust approach to critical thinking. I focus primarily on its direct orientation to practicality; its comprehensiveness, its applicability in any domain; and its systematicity, its coherent, interlocking way of laying out all the significant dimensions of critical thinking consistent (...) with use in practice. I also describe some implications of Paul’s work: its relation to other models or approaches that are more limited in their comprehensiveness, systematicity, and/or practicality; the contrast between Paul’s maximally flexible account and accounts or teaching practices based on specific directives; and the capacity Paul’s articulation carries with it of being able to enhance any approach to thinking things through. (shrink)
Chia, Edmund Kee-Fook Review of: Lay people in the church: A critical study of the theology of the laity in the documents of the federation of Asian bishops' conferences with special reference to John Paul's apostolic exhortation, by Peter Nguyen Van Hai, Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang, 2015, pp. 290, US$76.95.
This paper interrogates some prominent post-Marxist engagements with St Paul’s messianism by reading them in the theological context of the anti-historicist revival of Pauline eschatology in the twentieth century. In both readings, the means through which the critique of historicism is delivered is the revival of the eschatological core of Paul’s proclamation. Paul is read as inaugurating a “new world” of freedom, love and redemptive hope as opposed to the “old world” of oppression, sorrow, death and despair. (...) And yet, it is exactly in such an apocalyptic reading of Pauline eschatology that both philosophical and theological critiques of historicism, despite protestations to the contrary, remain prisoners to the aporias of a historicist temporality. The symptom of the philosophers’ residual parasitism on historicism is expressed as antinomian negativism, while in the case of the theologians it can take the form of a self-assured Church triumphalism. (shrink)
The fact that the New Testament authors often referred or alluded to, or quoted from their Scriptures, and then very often linked those quotations, references, and allusions from their Jewish Scriptures to the Christ-event, has led to the viewpoint of some that ‘Christ is found in the OT’ – that is, that the OT prophesised about the events that took place regarding the person, Jesus of Nazareth. It is the intention of this contribution to confirm the position of mainstream biblical (...) scholarship that the Old Testament does not predict the events surrounding Jesus of Nazareth, but that the New Testament writers interpreted the Jesus-events in hindsight in the light of the Scriptures of Israel. The current study attempts to firstly unfold the meta-narrative of the New Testament in five acts. Against the backdrop of the last of these acts, the case of the crucifixion of Jesus as interpreted by Paul to the early Christians in Galatia receives particular attention. It is argued that Paul’s presentation of the crucifixion in Galatians – as based on Deuteronomy 21:23 – is done retrodictively to portray Yehoshua ben Yoseph as liberator of the law in Asia Minor. This study proposes the coinage of a new term in canonical biblical scholarship, namely the term ‘retrodiction’ – in opposition to the term ‘prediction’. (shrink)
Traditionally, “the body of Christ” has been read through an organism metaphor that emphasizes unity of the community in Christ. The weakness of this reading is that there is no clear articulation of how members of the community are united with Christ. The body language in Paul’s letters can be best understood when read through a metaphor for a way of living that emphasizes Christ’s embodiment of God’s gospel. The body of Christ in Paul’s letters is, first of (...) all, his physical body that represents his life and death. Then, derivatively, it is also associated with Christian living—for example, “You are Christ-like body” (1 Cor 12:27). (shrink)
Recent scholarship has shown chattel slavery in the Roman Empire to have been a deeply oppressive experience. Paul knew that reality well and used the language of slavery metaphorically in Galatians and Romans to describe humanity's subjection to sin. However, he also made a remarkable shift in his use of the metaphor to indicate a new form of slavery to God which brings freedom, thereby subverting conventional ways of understanding slavery.In Paul's sense, slavery is an ineluctable part of (...) human existence in which we have a choice of being a slave to sin or a slave to God. Becoming a slave means giving up all claims to status and relates to Christ's humble-mindedness in Philippians. The slave is also a model of faithfulness, comparable with God's faithfulness to Israel and Christ's faithfulness to the mission given him by his Father. Being a slave (in Paul's sense) is at the heart of the Christian life, exemplifying the ‘obedience of faith’, for it is through this faithfulness that we become righteous. (shrink)
In a climate of institutional change and loss of authority, it is urgently needed to rethink the legitimacy of religious authority. This article offers a case study of Paul's authority claims in Corinth, using French & Raven's theory of social power, to offer new insights into the construction of religious leadership. Paul negotiated renewed acceptance as Corinth's founder and apostle by appealing to legitimate power that he was a better leader than Moses, even Christ's ambassador, and by undermining (...) the legitimate power of his opponents who claimed Jewish descent and apostolic miracles as key leadership markers. Similarly, Paul appealed to referent power by portraying his suffering as a mark of Christ-embodying leadership and undermined the referent power of his opponents by denouncing status, patronage support and rhetoric as legitimation for leadership. Paul did not appeal to other power bases, because he could not be sure to outrank his opponents on those counts. This analysis suggests that religious authority in the form of Paul's founding apostleship was difficult to comprehend and embed in the social and cultural structures of Corinth at that time. Paul needed to engage in intense contention and negotiation to construct a socially and culturally viable model of leadership that would do justice to his vision of Christian identity. As a corollary, the evidence of the intensity of this conflict at various levels throughout the epistle can be interpreted as supporting the literary unity of the epistle. (shrink)
In the letters written to the Thessalonians, Paul’s teaching appears to be irreconcilably divided between a still influential Judaic apocalyptic eschatology and (due to Timothy’s considerable influence in the development of the gospel), an emphasis on Hellenistic self-transformation and, in particular, how the philosophy of Epicurus contributed to the psychological health of recent converts. By interpreting the rhetoric of wrath, quiet, sleep, and childbirth, Paul’s teaching as it emerges in 1 and 2 Thessalonians reveals how the gospel must (...) necessarily encounter, agonistically, two foundations of thought. During the early composition of the letters to his churches, Paul struggles ambivalently between the persistence of a Judaic past and its metaphysical promise of a and , and the realization that Hellenistic philosophy, and Timothy’s Epicurean pastoral care, provides immediate comfort to the well-being of others. (shrink)
ABSTRACTThere is an ongoing debate in New Testament scholarship on the correct interpretation of Paul’s pistis Christou formulations: are we justified by our own faith/trust in Christ, or by participating in Christ’s faith and faithfulness towards God? This article contributes to the position of purposeful or sustained ambiguity by reading Paul’s imitation – and faith – language against the background of Hellenistic-Roman thought on and practice of imitation. In particular, the mimetic chain between teachers and students training for (...) a philosophical disposition, and the philosophical topos of ‘becoming like God’ offer material valuable for comparison. Since pistis, fides and cognates are used in these settings as both a quality to imitate and as attitude towards a model, and since, conversely, imitation is very much involved in Paul’s pistis-vocabulary, it makes sense to read pistis Christou as shorthand for a mimetic movement of faith via Christ towards God. (shrink)
Recent scholars focus mainly on Paul’s use of ‘brothers ’ or ‘brother ’ in Greco-Roman epistolary conventions and cultural backdrops. However, Jewish dimensions of Paul’s sibling language still remain unexplored in current scholarship. Furthermore, scholars have not drawn much attention to how Jewish letter writers use sibling terms in their letters. This article offers a new interpretation on Paul’s sibling language in light of its Jewish usage. We should note that Jewish letter writers did not address their (...) Gentile letter recipients as ‘brother’. However, Paul did call his recipients ‘brothers’. It is unlikely that Paul employed sibling language without being aware of its common Jewish usage. The author proposes that Paul’s sibling language is used in the context of an ethnic insider designation, and that ascribing the title of brother to believers including Gentiles signals the re-definition of the family of Abraham. (shrink)
En la tradición teológica de la religión judía que demostró poseer Pablo de Tarso, el Dios de Israel tiene el poder de crear y el poder de volver a crear; es decir, realizar una nueva creación. Pablo experimentó cómo en Jesús, Dios ha revelado la salvación, el perdón de los pecados por amor a toda la humanidad; y cada vez que un ser humano recibe este don por parte de Dios, se genera un nuevo ser. La comprensión e interpretación del (...) mensaje teológico de Pablo sobre el tema de la nueva creación se basa en el discurso tomado en la carta de Pablo a los Gálatas y en las proposiciones escritas a los Corintios. Esta hermenéutica se complementa con la comprensión de otro discurso sobre el tema de la creación expuesto en la carta a los Romanos. In the theological tradition of the Jewish religion that Paul of Tarsus proved to have, the God of Israel has the power to create and the power to re-create; that is, making a new creation. Paul experienced that in Jesus, God has revealed salvation, forgiveness of sins for the sake of all mankind, and every time which a human being receives this gift from God, a new being is created. The theological understanding and interpretation of Paul's message on the subject of the new creation is based on the speech made in his letter to the Galatians and in one of his propositions in Corinthians. This hermeneutics is complemented from the understanding of another speech about the creation exposed in the Letter to the Romans. (shrink)
This dissertation analyzes the three main philosophical movements which informed the intellectual world of Paul and his Greco-Roman contemporaries during the 1st century B.C.E. through the 2nd century C.E. In Part I, I analyze the moral transformation systems of the Middle Platonists , Neo-Stoics , and Greco-Roman Epicureans . I pay attention to the language of power in the analyses of Chapters 1--3, and to how power plays a salient role in philosophical discussions on the passions and on their (...) role in moral progress. What emerges from Part I are the following main conclusions: Despite the very different conceptualizations of the passions in Platonism, Stoicism, and Epicureanism, all three schools nonetheless viewed desire as a form of power and self-mastery over them as an expression of the sage's power. The power of the philosopher was the power of sight. That is, the sage saw himself and his potential errors correctly; and the sage saw the moral standard according to which one should conform. ;Part II is an attempt to show how a study of ancient philosophy of mind can help inform our understanding of Paul's letter recipients and Paul himself. The test case is the situation at Roman Corinth. Of all the philosophies of mind discussed in Part I, I make the initial case that the ideological framework which best explains the attitudes of the Corinthian strong over such issues such as sex with prostitutes is Epicurean philosophy and their ethics of the stomach. Sex is a natural desire and so is permissible in their moral framework. Finally, Chapter 5 examines extensively the external evidence for an Epicurean movement in the city of Roman Corinth. It makes the case for the presence of Epicurean converts among Corinth's urban leadership who, as immigrants, moved to Corinth from neighboring Greek cities and from Rome itself when Corinth was refound as a Roman colony in 44 B.C.E. The greatest epigraphic evidence for Corinthian Epicureans are the inscriptions dedicated to Junia Theodora and Gallio. (shrink)
Taubes, Badiou, Agamben, iek, Reinhard, and Santner have found in the Apostle Paul's emphasis on neighbor-love a positive paradigm for politics. By thoroughly reexamining Pauline eschatology, L. L. Welborn suggests that neighbor-love depends upon an orientation toward the messianic event, which Paul describes as the "now time" and which he imagines as "awakening." Welborn compares the Pauline dialectic of awakening to attempts by Hellenistic philosophers to rouse their contemporaries from moral lethargy and to the Marxist idea of class (...) consciousness, emphasizing the apostle's radical spirit and moral relevance. (shrink)
This book presents a methodology for ethical analysis applicable to not only Paul’s writings but also other New Testament texts and the Bible more generally. In doing so, it proposes new ways to read biblical texts in the context of current ethical debates.
The aim of this paper is to discuss the “Austro-American” logical empiricism proposed by physicist and philosopher Philipp Frank, particularly his interpretation of Carnap’s Aufbau, which he considered the charter of logical empiricism as a scientific world conception. According to Frank, the Aufbau was to be read as an integration of the ideas of Mach and Poincaré, leading eventually to a pragmatism quite similar to that of the American pragmatist William James. Relying on this peculiar interpretation, Frank (...) intended to bring about a rapprochement between the logical empiricism of the Vienna Circle in exile and American pragmatism. In the course of this project, in the last years of his career, Frank outlined a comprehensive, socially engaged philosophy of science that could serve as a “link between science and philosophy”. (shrink)
This essay examines Paul Ricœur’s views on recognition in his book The Course of Recognition . It highlights those aspects that are in some sense surprising, in relation to his previous publications and the general debates on Hegelian Anerkennung and the politics of recognition. After an overview of Ricœur’s book, the paper examines the meaning of “recognition” in Ricœur’s own proposal, in the dictionaries Ricœur uses, and in the contemporary debates. Then it takes a closer look at the ideas (...) of recognition as identification and as “taking as true.” Then it turns to recognition (attestation) of oneself, in light of the distinction between human constants (and the question “What am I?”), and human variables (and the question “Who Am I?”). The last section concerns the dialectics of struggles for recognition and states of peace, and the internal relationship between the contents of a normative demand and what counts as satisfying the demand. . (shrink)
In his recently published Where the Conflict Really Lies: Science, Religion, & Naturalism 2011 Alvin Plantinga criticises Paul Draper’s evolutionary argument against theism as part of a larger project to show that evolution poses no threat to Christian belief. Plantinga focuses upon Draper’s probabilistic claim that the facts of evolution are much more probable on naturalism than on theism, and with regard to that claim makes two specific points. First, Draper’s probabilistic claim contradicts theism’s necessary falsehood; unless Draper wishes (...) to acknowledge that theism is necessarily true, his claim commits him to theism’s contingency and so sets him at odds with a mainstream that sees God’s existence as decidedly noncontingent. Second, Plantinga argues that Draper’s probabilistic claim is, even if true, overwhelmed by counterclaims about facts that are more likely on theism than naturalism. I argue this critique of Draper depends upon a serious error, and that Plantinga overlooks the full implications of his own presuppositions. Correcting these shortcomings shows that Plantinga’s own probabilistic-apologetics (e.g., the ‘Evolutionary Argument Against Naturalism’) requires theism’s contingency no less than does Draper’s atheology. (shrink)
This article considers the development of Philipp Frank’s opposition to metaphysics in the light of the contention that there also was a long-standing pragmatic strand to the theorizing about science in the Vienna Circle. It is argued that the later Frank did not only distinguish metaphysical statements from those deemed simply cognitively meaningless by a substantive criterion but that in order to identify the latter he also sought to employ a practical rather than a formal criterion with which (...) he and Neurath had long been acquainted. (shrink)
Paul Ricoeur's understanding of the relations of faith, love, and hope suggests a unique approach to theological ethics, one that holds fresh promise for bringing together considerations of the good (teleology) and the right (deontology) around the notion of an "economy of the gift." The economy of the gift articulates Ricoeur's distinctively dialectical understanding of the relation of the human and the divine, and the resulting dialectical moral relation of the self and the other. Despite our fallen condition, Ricoeur (...) suggests, we are called by the divine to embrace the radical possibility of the reconciliation of human goods under the requirement of accountability to human diversity and otherness. (shrink)
Hermeneutics, or the science of interpretation,is well accepted in the humanities. In thefield of education, hermeneutics has played arelatively marginal role in research. It isthe task of this essay to introduce thegeneral methods and findings of Paul Ricoeur'shermeneutics. Specifically, the essayinterprets the usefulness of Ricoeur'sphilosophy in the study of domination. Theproblem of domination has been a target ofanalysis for critical pedagogy since itsinception. However, the role of interpretationas a constitutive part of ideology critique isrelatively understudied and it is here (...) thatRicoeur's ideas are instructive. Last, theessay radicalizes Ricoeur's insights in orderto realize their potential to disruptasymmetrical relations of power in education. To this extent, the author contributes to thebuilding of a critical brand of hermeneutics,or the interpretation of domination. (shrink)
Doing violence and evil always indirectly or directly leads to making someone else suffer. Such is the dialogical structure of evil and it seems to be the dialogical structure of elder abuse as well. There is a perturbing sameness between definitions of evil and definitions of elder abuse. It is hard at times to see how or if there is any line of demarcation between the subjects. Two modern‐day philosophers, Paul Ricoeur and Simone Weil have delved particularly into the (...) concept of evil. The symbolism Ricoeur analyses in depth is that of defilement, sin, and guilt and the concept of the servile will. Integral in Weil's description of evil are the concepts of suffering and the special situation of extreme suffering, termed affliction. Grounded in the writings of Ricoeur and Weil, this paper is a series of reflections on the intersection of evil and elder abuse as exemplified in the narrative of an abused older woman. This woman provided around the clock care at home for her husband who had vascular dementia. She was also abused by her husband. This was witnessed by both family and others but no one intervened. In her narrative there were indications of defilement, sin, guilt, and true affliction as a servile will. This paper illuminates the evil of elder abuse that is harm and suffering, and the challenge of untangling issues of blame, free will, responsibility, and self‐determinism. When engaging with abused, older persons it can be worthwhile for nurses to enter the encounter with non‐judgemental compassion founded on the human to human connection and recognition of our mutual fallibility and potential for evil that is part of our human fragility. (shrink)