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Evil in Modern Thought: An Alternative History of Philosophy

Princeton University Press (2002)

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  1. Evil and Moral Detachment: Further Reflections on The Mirror Thesis.Alfred Archer - 2016 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 24 (2):201-218.
    A commonly accepted claim by philosophers investigating the nature of evil is that the evil person is, in some way, the mirror image of the moral saint. In this paper I will defend a new version of this thesis. I will argue that both the moral saint and the morally evil person are characterized by a lack of conflict between moral and non-moral concerns. However, while the saint achieves this unity through a reconciliation of the two, the evil person does (...)
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  • The Question of Evil and Feminist Legal Scholarship.Thérèse Murphy & Noel Whitty - 2006 - Feminist Legal Studies 14 (1):1-26.
    In this article, we argue that feminist legal scholars should engage directly and explicitly with the question of evil. Part I summarises key facts surrounding the prosecution and life-long imprisonment of Myra Hindley, one of a tiny number of women involved in multiple killings of children in recent British history. Part II reviews a range of commentaries on Hindley, noting in particular the repeated use of two narratives: the first of these insists that Hindley is an icon of female evil; (...)
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  • Introduction: Special Issue on “Feminist Philosophy and the Problem of Evil”.Robin May Schott - 2003 - Hypatia 18 (1):1-9.
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  • Introduction: Special Issue on "Feminist Philosophy and the Problem of Evil".Robin May Schott - 2003 - Hypatia 18 (1):1-9.
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  • Doing No Harm in a Changing Climate: Professional Education, and the Problematic 'Psy' Subject.Sue Cornforth - 2013 - Educational Philosophy and Theory 45 (10):1054-1066.
    Climate change presents urgent ethical challenges. It causes us to revisit what it means to ‘do’ professionalism and invites us to enter what Fisher described as the ‘forgotten zone’ of human-nature relationships, posing the troubling question of whether we can continue to valorise a version of being human on the same terms as before.This article begins by considering the relevance of global warming to professional practice, foregrounding the commitment to do no harm. It poses as problematic the manner in which (...)
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  • What Pessimism Is.Paul Prescott - 2012 - Journal of Philosophical Research 37:337-356.
    On the standard view, pessimism is a philosophically intractable topic. Against the standard view, I hold that pessimism is a stance, or compound of attitudes, commitments and intentions. This stance is marked by certain beliefs—first and foremost, that the bad prevails over the good—which are subject to an important qualifying condition: they are always about outcomes and states of affairs in which one is personally invested. This serves to distinguish pessimism from other views with which it is routinely conflated— including (...)
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  • Distortions of Normativity.Herlinde Pauer-Studer & J. David Velleman - 2011 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 14 (3):329-356.
    We discuss some implications of the Holocaust for moral philosophy. Our thesis is that morality became distorted in the Third Reich at the level of its social articulation. We explore this thesis in application to several front-line perpetrators who maintained false moral self-conceptions. We conclude that more than a priori moral reasoning is required to correct such distortions.
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  • Schopenhauer’s Pessimism.David Woods - unknown
    In this thesis I offer an interpretation of Arthur Schopenhauer’s pessimism. I argue against interpreting Schopenhauer’s pessimism as if it were merely a matter of temperament, and I resist the urge to find a single standard argument for pessimism in Schopenhauer’s work. Instead, I treat Schopenhauer’s pessimism as inherently variegated, composed of several distinct but interrelated pessimistic positions, each of which is supported by its own argument. I begin by examining Schopenhauer’s famous argument that willing necessitates suffering, which I defend (...)
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  • Understanding Evil Acts.Paul Formosa - 2007 - Human Studies 30 (2):57-77.
    Evil acts strike us, by their very nature, as not only horrifying and reprehensible, but also as deeply puzzling. No doubt for reasons like this, evil has often been seen as mysterious, demonic and beyond our human powers of understanding. The question I examine in this paper is whether or not we can (or would want to) overcome this puzzlement in the face of evil acts. I shall argue that we ought want to (in all cases) and can (in at (...)
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  • The Secular Problem of Evil: An Essay in Analytic Existentialism.Paul Prescott - forthcoming - Religious Studies.
    The existence of evil is often held to pose philosophical problems only for theists. I argue that the existence of evil gives rise to a philosophical problem which confronts theist and atheist alike. The problem is constituted by the following claims: (1) Successful human beings (i.e., those meeting their basic prudential interests) are committed to a good-enough world; (2) the actual world is not a good-enough world (i.e., sufficient evil exists). It follows that human beings must either (3a) maintain a (...)
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  • Introduction to "Teaching Early Modern Philosophy".Alberto Vanzo - 2015 - Metaphilosophy 46 (3):321-325.
    The articles in the symposium “Teaching Early Modern Philosophy: New Approaches” provide theoretical reflections and practical advice on new ways of teaching undergraduate survey courses in early modern philosophy. This introduction lays out the rationale for the symposium and summarizes the articles that compose it.
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  • The Battle for Business Ethics: A Struggle Theory.Muel Kaptein - 2017 - Journal of Business Ethics 144 (2):343-361.
    To be and to remain ethical requires struggle from organizations. Struggling is necessary due to the pressures and temptations management and employees encounter in and around organizations. As the relevance of struggle for business ethics has not yet been analyzed systematically in the scientific literature, this paper develops a theory of struggle that elaborates on the meaning and dimensions of struggle in organizations, why and when it is needed, and what its antecedents and consequences are. An important conclusion is that (...)
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  • Historia de la Voluntad y Banalidad Del Mal.Ángel Prior Olmos - 2010 - Arbor 186 (742):211-226.
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  • Is Evolutionary Biology Infected With Invalid Teleological Reasoning?David J. Depew - 2010 - Philosophy, Theory, and Practice in Biology 2 (20130604).
    John Reiss is a practicing evolutionary biologist (herpetology) who by his own account happened to be in the right place (Harvard’s Museum of Comparative Zoology) at the right time (the 1980s) to hear echoes of the debate about sociobiology that had been raging there between E. O. Wilson and, on the other side, Stephen Jay Gould and Richard Lewontin (xiv). Reiss is not concerned with sociobiology, at least in this book, but with the adaptationism that Gould and Lewontin saw in (...)
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  • Why There Should Be No Argument From Evil: Remarks on Recognition, Antitheodicy, and Impossible Forgiveness.Sami Pihlström - 2017 - International Journal of Philosophy and Theology 78 (4-5):523-536.
    I argue that we should emancipate the problem of evil and suffering from theodicist assumptions that lead to a chronic non-acknowledgment of the sufferers’ experiential point of view. This also entails emancipating the problem of evil and suffering from the need to consider the so-called argument from evil. In the argument ‘from’ evil, evil and suffering are seen as pieces of empirical evidence against theism. This presupposes understanding theism as a hypothesis to be tested in an evidentialist game of argumentation. (...)
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  • Schelling’s Pantheism and the Problem of Evil.Olli Pitkänen - 2017 - International Journal of Philosophy and Theology 78 (4-5):361-372.
    Any religious worldview, understood in the sense that ‘life has a purpose’, has to face the problem of evil. The problem of evil has been particularly intensively discussed in the Aristotelian–Scholastic–Christian tradition. The most popular solution has been to deny that anything truly evil actually exists. It is hard to conceive why an omnipotent and perfectly good God would allow evil to appear. Yet, Western culture has been and still is full of imagery of absolute demonic evil. I suggest that (...)
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  • The Many Faces of Evil: Philosophical and Theological Conversations on the Experience of Evil.Christoph Schwöbel - 2017 - International Journal of Philosophy and Theology 78 (4-5):334-347.
    In this article, a way of analysing the pluriformity and mutability of the experience of evil is developed. Against the background of a relational account of the possibility and the actuality of evil, it is argued that evil cannot be accounted for in a decontextualized manner, but can only be interpreted in the context of a particular understanding of reality. In the context of Christian faith and practice, a suggestion for understanding evil as contradiction against God’s creative agency, as rejection (...)
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  • Evil and Religion: Ricoeurian Impulses for Theology in a Postsecular Climate.Petruschka Schaafsma - 2015 - International Journal of Philosophy and Theology 76 (2):129-148.
    Starting point of this article is a tension perceived in postsecular reassessments of religion between a new openness to religion’s meaning and importance and a negative motivation, due to religion’s violent presence. These negative conditions may hinder assessing religion in its fullness and specific character. Further reflection on the right attitude to study religion and a way out of this tension is given by analyzing Paul Ricoeur philosophical approach to religion in The Symbolism of Evil. A detailed investigation of Ricoeur’s (...)
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  • Is Evil Action Qualitatively Distinct From Ordinary Wrongdoing?Luke Russell - 2007 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 85 (4):659 – 677.
    Adam Morton, Stephen de Wijze, Hillel Steiner, and Eve Garrard have defended the view that evil action is qualitatively distinct from ordinary wrongdoing. By this, they do not that mean that evil actions feel different to ordinary wrongs, but that they have motives or effects that are not possessed to any degree by ordinary wrongs. Despite their professed intentions, Morton and de Wijze both offer accounts of evil action that fail to identify a clear qualitative difference between evil and ordinary (...)
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  • Challenging the Genteel Supports of Atrocities: A Response to The Atrocity Paradigm.Linda A. Bell - 2009 - Hypatia 24 (1):123 - 140.
    Inspired by Card's focus on atrocities, I reflect on attitudes and behaviors that buttress and support evil. Surely, the frequent anti-Semitic sermons in German churches helped to form and later to support the views of both Nazis and those who accepted and cooperated with them. Similarly, lynching, rape, and abuse occur within societies whose structures and laws reflect dominant, generally "genteel" racism and sexism and, in turn, help create perpetrators and at least somewhat sympathetic onlookers.
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  • Challenging the Genteel Supports of Atrocities: A Response to The Atrocity Paradigm.Linda A. Bell - 2009 - Hypatia 24 (1):123-140.
    Inspired by Card's focus on atrocities, I reflect on attitudes and behaviors that buttress and support evil. Surely, the frequent anti-Semitic sermons in German churches helped to form and later to support the views of both Nazis and those who accepted and cooperated with them. Similarly, lynching, rape, and abuse occur within societies whose structures and laws reflect dominant, generally “genteel” racism and sexism and, in turn, help create perpetrators and at least somewhat sympathetic onlookers.
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  • Introduction: Special Issue on “Feminist Philosophy and the Problem of Evil”.Robin May Schott - 2003 - Hypatia 18 (1):1-9.
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  • Mainstream News Media, an Objective Approach, and the March to War in Iraq.Michael Ryan - 2006 - Journal of Mass Media Ethics 21 (1):4 – 29.
    _ Americans were forced to decide during an 18-month period of intense uncertainty whether to invade Iraq as part of the war against terrorism. This article reports compelling evidence that mainstream media between September 2001 and March 2003 failed in their primary responsibility: to provide sound news and commentary on which Americans could base critical decisions about war and peace. One reason is that journalists did not use an objective approach-in part because it had been discredited by media professionals and (...)
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  • An End to Evil? Philosophical and Political Reflections.Fred Dallmayr - 2006 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 60 (1-3):169-186.
    After a long period of neglect and complacency, the problem of evil has powerfully resurfaced in our time. Two events above all have triggered this resurgence: the atrocities of totalitarianism and the debacle of September 11 and its aftermath. Following September 11, a "war on terror" has been unleashed and some writers have advocated an all-out assault on, and military victory over, evil. Taking issue with this proposal, the paper first of all examines the meaning of "evil" as articulated by (...)
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  • On Agonising: Street Charity and First Ethics. [REVIEW]John Miles Little - 2010 - Journal of Bioethical Inquiry 7 (3):321-327.
    To agonise is to undergo great mental anguish through worrying about something, according to the New Oxford Dictionary of English. I suggest that agonising in this sense is a fundamental response to any ethical dilemma. It has a long intellectual and literary lineage. In this essay, I agonise over the dilemmas posed by street beggars, their intrusiveness and their appeal to our intuitive sense of social duty. I explore the discomfort we may feel at their presence, and the value that (...)
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  • Religion and Pseudo-Religion: An Elusive Boundary.Sami Pihlström - 2007 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 62 (1):3-32.
    This paper examines the possibility of setting a boundary between religion and “pseudo-religion” (or superstition). Philosophers of religion inspired by Ludwig Wittgenstein’s ideas, in particular, insist that religious language-use can be neither legitimated nor criticized from the perspective of non-religious language-games. Thus, for example, the “theodicist” requirement that the existence of evil should be theoretically reconciled with theism can be argued to be pseudo-religious (superstitious). Another example discussed in the paper is the relation between religion and morality. The paper concludes (...)
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  • Reproaching Heaven: The Problem of Evil in Mengzi. [REVIEW]Franklin Perkins - 2006 - Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy 5 (2):293-312.
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  • An End to Evil? Philosophical and Political Reflections.Fred Dallmayr - 2006 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 60 (1/3):169 - 186.
    After a long period of neglect and complacency, the problem of evil has powerfully resurfaced in our time. Two events above all have triggered this resurgence: the atrocities of totalitarianism (summarized under the label of "Auschwitz") and the debacle of September 11 and its aftermath. Following September 11, a "war on terror" has been unleashed and some writers have advocated an all-out assault on, and military victory over, evil. Taking issue with this proposal, the paper first of all examines the (...)
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  • The Juridical Significance of Kant's 'Supposed Right to Lie'.Jacob Weinrib - 2008 - Kantian Review 13 (1):141-170.
    In his ‘On a Supposed Right to Lie from Philanthropy’ Kant makes the astonishing claim that one is not entitled to lie even to save a friend from a murderer. This claim has been an embarrassment for Kant's defenders and an indication of Kant's excessive rigour for his detractors. Responses to SRL fall into three main groups. The first of these groups, that of Kant's critics, claim that SRL demonstrates that Kant's ethical views are so rigorous that they become abhorrent (...)
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  • The Form of Evil.Irit Samet - 2010 - Kantian Review 14 (2):93-117.
    Upon arriving in Auschwitz Primo Levi discovered that rational discourse, in which actions are done for reasons, was left lying on the carriage floor together with his human dignity. By responding ‘Here one doesn't ask why’, the camp guard succinctly conveys the insight that evil defies reason. This paper examines two studies of evil that are predicated on that idea: Kant's and Augustine's. It argues that their theories share an underlying formation wherein evil remains incomprehensible, except in negative terms as (...)
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  • Transcendental Guilt: On an Emotional Condition of Moral Experience.Sami Pihlström - 2007 - Journal of Religious Ethics 35 (1):87-111.
    This article considers a central ethically relevant interpersonal emotion, guilt. It is argued that guilt, as an irreducible moral category, has a constitutive role to play in our ways of conceptualizing our relations to other people. Without experiencing guilt, or being able to do so, we would not be capable of employing the moral concepts and judgments we do employ. Elaborating on this argument, the paper deals with what may be described as the "metaphysics of guilt." More generally, it is (...)
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  • Before the Original Position: The Neo‐Orthodox Theology of the Young John Rawls.Eric Gregory - 2007 - Journal of Religious Ethics 35 (2):179-206.
    This paper examines a remarkable document that has escaped critical attention within the vast literature on John Rawls, religion, and liberalism: Rawls's undergraduate thesis, "A Brief Inquiry into the Meaning of Sin and Faith: An Interpretation Based on the Concept of Community" (1942). The thesis shows the extent to which a once regnant version of Protestant theology has retreated into seminaries and divinity schools where it now also meets resistance. Ironically, the young Rawls rejected social contract liberalism for reasons that (...)
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  • Leibniz on the Problem of Evil.Michael Murray - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
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  • God in the Cave: A Look Back at Robert Merrihew Adams's "Finite and Infinite Goods". [REVIEW]James Wetzel - 2006 - Journal of Religious Ethics 34 (3):485 - 520.
    When "Finite and Infinite Goods" was published in 1999, it took its place as one of the few major statements of a broadly Augustinian ethical philosophy of the past century. By "broadly Augustinian" I refer to the disposition to combine a Platonic emphasis on a transcendent source of value with a traditionally theistic emphasis on the value-creating capacities of absolute will. In the form that this disposition takes with Robert Merrihew Adams, it is the resemblance between divine and a finite (...)
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