New Culture and Philosophy Blog

There is a new blog called Critique and it integrates the philosopher as a participant in the unfolding dynamic of cultural life. I like it a lot, though I only liked one essay so far. I liked this essay for its simplicity. Luke Russell writes a very decent and publicly accessible entry about evil. Share your thoughts below about what you think about the essay.

When I was an undergraduate, I read everything Hannah Arendt wrote. And in Eichmann in Jertusalem: A Report in the Banality of Evil, Arendt seemed to link the dearth of someone’s ability to judge from the point of view from another with the concretion of evil. Evil was a lack of a Kantian “enlarged community,” a lack of either those willing to judge or incapable of judging. In many ways, I assume that she meant both types since both types are very common (banal).

In ethics, the language of immorality can be heightened verbally, given weight and emphasis by calling the immoral action or person “evil.” However, as so often happens, most ethicists remain (ought to remain?) humble in their ethical pronouncements about what actions and/or persons are evil. Judgments about what is evil carry with them a level of certainty that intellectual humility in ethics causes us to avoid.



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