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Concepts of Evil, Blame, and Moral Understanding
PHIL 343
Spring 2011 not offered

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?

Essential Capabilities:
Credit: 1 Gen Ed Area Dept: HA PHIL
Course Format: SeminarGrading Mode: Student Option
Level: UGRD Prerequisites: None
Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (PHIL-Philosophy)

Last Updated on APR-16-2024
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