Concepts of Evil, Blame, and Moral Understanding|
The question, What is evil, is awkward to answer except by posing the roundabout question, What are we doing when we call something evil? To speak of evil is often to posit a motive that is beyond moral understanding. Does this mean that there really are actions motivated by a morally opaque force of evil, or does it simply show that we wish to justify certain failures of understanding? While we represent evildoers as ideal targets for blame, they are simultaneously depicted as practically impervious to blame. Thus, we must examine the nature and point of blame. While some argue that the concept of radical evil can be abandoned, they risk charges of optimistic blindness and moral spinelessness. Are these charges justified? Given all of its function and connotations, does the wise moral critic employ the concept of evil?
||Gen Ed Area Dept:
|Course Format: Seminar||Grading Mode: Student Option|
||Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (PHIL-Philosophy)(SISP-Phil Ethic)
||Past Enrollment Probability: Not Available
|SECTION 01 In-person only|
|Major Readings: Wesleyan RJ Julia Bookstore
Texts will be drawn mostly from European and American sources since Nietzsche, and will include Arendt's EICHMANN IN JERUSALEM and other commentaries on recent cases of apparent evil. Rorty's historical and Lara's contemporary anthology will provide most of the additional reading.
|Examinations and Assignments: |
Weekly commentaries 50%
Midterm essay 15%
Final essay 25%
Participation, etc. 10%
|Additional Requirements and/or Comments: |
This course registration is by permission of instructor. Seminars in philosophy are generally appropriate for majors (juniors and seniors) who have already taken at least three philosophy courses. In this case, it is highly recommended that one of those prior philosophy courses be an introductory course in values (PHIL 212 through PHIL 218). Other students with some depth in philosophy (especially with some study of values) may also be appropriate participants. (Note, however, that seminars generally count toward the philosophy major only for junior and senior participants.) Requests to enroll should be sent by email, including details relevant to your preparation and your potential contributions to the course.
|Instructor(s): Springer,Elise Times: ..T.... 07:00PM-09:50PM; Location: RUSLSEM; |
|Permission of Instructor Required|
Enrollment capacity: 15
|Permission of instructor approval will be granted by the instructor during pre-registration through the Electronic Portfolio. Click "Add to My Courses" and "To request a POI electronically, click here" to submit your request.|
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