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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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Just the Bad and the Ugly

Just the Bad and the Ugly

Chapter:
(p.30) 2 Just the Bad and the Ugly
Source:
The Evil Within
Author(s):

Diane Jeske

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190685379.003.0002

Case studies of bad people who committed highly immoral actions provide a way of examining our own errors in moral deliberation. Albert Speer, Hitler’s Minister of Armaments and War Production, narrowly focused on the objectives of his job and thereby avoided thinking about the larger context in which his job was situated. Franz Stangl, commandant of Treblinka death camp, used compartmentalization and a lack of imagination to live with the fact that he oversaw the deaths of roughly one million innocent people. Rudolf Höss, commandant of Auschwitz, shut off his natural emotional responses in order to focus on carrying out the orders of his superiors. Charles Colcock Jones, American slaveholder, convinced himself that he was actually doing good for the slaves on his own and on neighboring plantations. Ted Bundy, serial killer, was a psychopath, but provides a useful example of extreme errors in moral deliberation.

Keywords:   Albert Speer, Franz Stangl, Rudolf Höss, Charles Colcock Jones, Ted Bundy, Nazi, slaveholder, psychopath, moral deliberation

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