9781118346303

The Idea of Evil

by
  • ISBN13:

    9781118346303

  • ISBN10:

    1118346300

  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2012-10-01
  • Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell
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Summary

This timely book by philosopher Peter Dews explores the idea of evil, one of the most problematic terms in the contemporary moral vocabulary. Surveys the intellectual debate on the nature of evil over the past two hundred years Engages with a broad range of discourses and thinkers, from Kant and the German Idealists, via Schopenhauer and Nietzsche, to Levinas and Adorno Suggests that the concept of moral evil touches on a neuralgic point in western culture Argues that, despite the widespread abuse and political manipulation of the term 'evil', we cannot do without it Concludes that if we use the concept of evil, we must acknowledge its religious dimension

Author Biography

Peter Dews is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Essex. He has published widely on 19th and 20th century European thought, with a focus on German Idealism, the Frankfurt School, and recent French philosophy. He is the author of Logics of Disintegration (1987, reissued 2006), and The Limits of Disenchantment (1995). He has also edited and introduced two books on the work of Jürgen Habermas: Autonomy and Solidarity: Interviews with Jürgen Habermas (1986) and Habermas: A Critical Reader (Blackwell, 1999).

Table of Contents

List of Abbreviations vi

Preface viii

Introduction 1

1 Kant: The Perversion of Freedom 17

2 Fichte and Schelling: Entangled in Nature 46

3 Hegel: A Wry Theodicy 81

4 Schopenhauer and Nietzsche: Suffering from Meaninglessness 118

5 Levinas: Ethics à l’Outrance 158

6 Adorno: Radical Evil as a Category of the Social 187

Conclusion 212

Bibliography 235

Index 246

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