Taking Evil Seriously
|Publication Date||July 2014|
|Formats||Hardcover Ebook (EPUB) Ebook (PDF)|
While moral philosophy has traditionally been understood as a 'positive' examination of the good life, this book argues that ethical inquiry should, rather, begin from an examination of evil and other 'negative' moral concepts, such as guilt and suffering. Evil is a shockingly real feature of the world we live in; it cannot be explained away or justified in terms of any theodicy, either religious or secular. The book draws on the tradition of pragmatism, particularly William James, in developing this anti-theodicist argument for taking evil seriously. James's pragmatist approach is critically compared to some other philosophical thematizations of fundamental ethical issues, including Wittgensteinian moral philosophy and Hans Jonas's post-Holocaust ethics. The pragmatic method itself is rearticulated as a philosophical method focusing on negativities such as evil and as a version of post-Kantian transcendental inquiry dealing with the necessary conditions for the possibility of morality.