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The Evil WithinWhy We Need Moral Philosophy$
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Diane Jeske

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780190685379

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190685379.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 14 April 2021

Learning from Evil

Learning from Evil

(p.1) 1 Learning from Evil
The Evil Within

Diane Jeske

Oxford University Press

The actions of Thomas Jefferson, slaveholder, and Edward Coles, emancipator of slaves, pose critical questions about how people justify their complicity in evil practices. In this introductory chapter, the author lays out how she will examine four significant impediments to good moral deliberation: cultural norms and pressures, the complexity of consequences, emotions, and self-deception. She explains how she will illuminate the errors of bad people and show how they mirror errors that we ourselves commonly make. Thus, the moral philosophy presented here is an important tool in identifying such errors and can assist in fulfilling our duties of due care in moral deliberation, moral self-scrutiny, and the development of moral virtue. The author previews the case studies of bad people, such as Nazis and slaveholders, that she cites in later chapters, and she shows how the studies can act as extended thought experiments about the nature of moral reasoning and of effective moral education.

Keywords:   moral philosophy, moral deliberation, moral education, immorality, virtue, self-scrutiny, Thomas Jefferson, Edward Coles

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