HPL 341 Philosophies of Good and Evil

This class concerns problems related to the ideas of good and evil. In the history of philosophy, no consensus has been reached as to how these ideas can be defined or explained. This is especially so for the idea of evil. It is unclear whether evil is a phenomenon in its own right or a mere reduction of the good. Also, it is unclear how the reality of evil can be reconciled with the idea of the supreme goodness of God. The problem of good and evil raises the questions of human nature, the existence of free will, and humans’ basic attitude toward suffering. In modernity, the problem of evil was given further emphasis through the advent of nihilism, for which no moral obligations exist, and the mass extinction carried out by totalitarian regimes. The class will discuss classical and modern texts.




Humanities and Social Sciences Program

Typically Offered Periods

Summer Session 1