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The Evil Within – Why We Need Moral Philosophy - Oxford Scholarship Online
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The Evil Within: Why We Need Moral Philosophy

Diane Jeske


Thomas Jefferson and Edward Coles were men of similar background, but the former remained a slaveholder while the latter emancipated his slaves. Examining the ways in which people such as Jefferson, who perform wrong and even evil actions, attempt to justify those actions both to others and to themselves illuminates the mistakes that we ourselves make in moral reasoning. The study of moral philosophy can help us to identify and correct for such mistakes. In applying the tools of moral philosophy to case studies of Nazi death camp commandants, American slaveholders, and a psychopathic serial ki ... More

Keywords: evil, moral philosophy, moral deliberation, Nazi, slaveholder, psychopath, culture, emotion, self-deception, consequences

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2018 Print ISBN-13: 9780190685379
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2018 DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190685379.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Diane Jeske, author
Department of Philosophy, The University of Iowa