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Paul Prescott
Syracuse University
  1. 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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  2. 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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  3. Unthinkable ≠ Unknowable: On Charlotte Delbo’s ‘II Faut Donner À Voir’.Paul Prescott - 2014 - Journal of Value Inquiry 48 (3):457-468.
    This paper is an attempt to articulate and defend a new imperative, Auschwitz survivor Charlotte Delbo’s Il faut donner à voir: “They must be made to see.” Assuming the ‘they’ in Delbo’s imperative is ‘us’ gives rise to three questions: (1) what must we see? (2) can we see it? and (3) why is it that we must? I maintain that what we must see is the reality of evil; that we are by and large unwilling, and often unable, to (...)
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