Evil and Human Agency
Understanding Collective Evildoing
By (author) Arne Johan Vetlesen
Series edited by Jeffrey C. Alexander Steven Seidman
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Evil and Human Agency by Arne Johan Vetlesen
Book DescriptionEvil is a poorly understood phenomenon. In this provocative 2005 book, Professor Vetlesen argues that to do evil is to intentionally inflict pain on another human being, against his or her will, and causing serious and foreseeable harm. Vetlesen investigates why and in what sort of circumstances such a desire arises, and how it is channeled, or exploited, into collective evildoing. He argues that such evildoing, pitting whole groups against each other, springs from a combination of character, situation, and social structure. By combining a philosophical approach inspired by Hannah Arendt, a psychological approach inspired by C. Fred Alford and a sociological approach inspired by Zygmunt Bauman, and bringing these to bear on the Holocaust and ethnic cleansing in the former Yugoslavia, Vetlesen shows how closely perpetrators, victims, and bystanders interact, and how aspects of human agency are recognized, denied, and projected by different agents.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780521856942
(228mm x 152mm x 19mm)
Imprint: Cambridge University Press
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publish Date: 1-Dec-2005
Country of Publication: United Kingdom
Books By Author Arne Johan Vetlesen
Philosophy of Pain, Paperback (July 2009)
Addresses pain in many forms, including the pain inflicted by torture; the pain suffered in disease; and the pain of anxiety, grief and depression. The author examines the dual nature of pain: how we attempt to avoid it as much as possible in our daily lives and yet, conversely, obtain a thrill from seeking it.
Evil and Human Agency, Paperback (December 2005)» View all books by Arne Johan Vetlesen
This 2005 book investigates why and in what sort of circumstances evil desire arises, and how it is channeled into collective evildoing.
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Author Biography - Arne Johan Vetlesen
Arne Johan Vetlesen is Professor of Philosophy at the Department of Philosophy, University of Oslo, Norway. He is the author of over thirteen books including Perception, Empathy, and Judgement: An Inquiry into the Preconditions of Moral Performance (1994) and Closeness: An Ethics (with De Maleissye-Melun, 1997).
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