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Rethinking Evil: Contemporary Perspectives

Maria Pia Lara, ed. (University of California Press: Oct 1, 2001), 328 pages.

This innovative volume will be welcomed by moral and political philosophers, social scientists, and anyone who reflects seriously on the twentieth century’s heavy burden of war, genocide, ethnic cleansing, and other evidence of people’s desire to harm one another. Mar’a P’a Lara brings together a provocative set of essays that reexamine evil in the context of a "postmetaphysical" world, a world that no longer equates natural and human evil and no longer believes in an omnipotent God. The question of how and why God permits evil events to occur is replaced by the question of how and why humans perform radically evil acts. ~ Product Description

Table of Contents

    • Acknowledgments
    • Introduction: Contemporary Perspectives    1
    • 1    Is God Evil?    17
    • 2    What’s the Problem of Evil?    27
    • 3    “Radical Finitude” and the Problem of Evil: Critical Comments on Wellmer’s Reading of Jonas    46
    • 4    Radical Evil: Kant at War with Himself    55
    • 5    Reflections on the Banality of (Radical) Evil: A Kantian Analysis    86
    • 6    The Polyhedron of Evil    101
    • 7    An Evil Heart: Moral Evil and Moral Identity    113
    • 8    Understanding Evil: Arendt and the Final Solution    131
    • 9    Toward a Sociology of Evil: Getting beyond Modernist Common Sense about the Alternative to “the Good”    153
    • 10    The Evil That Men Do: A Mediation on Radical Evil from a Postmetaphysical Point of View    173
    • 11    Major Offenders, Minor Offenders    189
    • 12    On Pain, the Suffering of Wrong, and Other Grievances: Responsibility    198
    • 13    Forgiveness and Oblivion: A New Form of Banality of Evil?    210
    • 14    “Happy Endings” / Unendings: Narratives of Evil    225
    • 15    Narrating Evil: A Postmetaphysical Theory of Reflective Judgment    239
    • Notes    251
    • List of Contributors    295
    • Index    299