Peter Dews The Idea of Evil

ISBN 13: 9781405117043

The Idea of Evil

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9781405117043: The Idea of Evil

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

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This timely book by philosopher Peter Dews explores the idea of evil, one of the most problematic terms in the contemporary moral vocabulary. Despite the widespread abuse and political manipulation of the term, Dews argues that we cannot do without it. Yet our intuitions about evil pull us in different directions. The centrality of the ideal of rational autonomy to our modern self-image makes it hard for us to accommodate deeply rooted and obscurely destructive motivations. Furthermore, once having recognized the reality of evil, we may find ourselves succumbing to moral paralysis, even despair.

Dews shows that these concerns are not marginal to the European philosophical tradition. They have perturbed some of the greatest thinkers of the modern age, from Kant and the German Idealists, via Schopenhauer and Nietzsche, to Levinas and Adorno. Written with lucidity and verve, The Idea of Evil traces a struggle to translate religious insights into secular, philosophical terms – and to acknowledge the perverse impulse of human freedom, without abandoning hope for a more just and compassionate world.

About the Author:

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).

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Book Description John Wiley and Sons Ltd, United Kingdom, 2007. Hardback. Book Condition: New. 228 x 156 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. 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. Bookseller Inventory # AAH9781405117043

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Book Description John Wiley and Sons Ltd, United Kingdom, 2007. Hardback. Book Condition: New. 1. Auflage. 228 x 156 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. 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. Bookseller Inventory # AAH9781405117043

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