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banality of evil

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Philosophy 2065F/G

The Banality of Evil Last sentence of the book “It was as though in those last minutes he was summing up the lesson that this long course in human wickedness had taught us- the lesson of the fearsome, word-and-thought-defying banality of evil.” What does she mean? “when I speak of the banality of evil, I do so only on the strictly factual level, pointing to a phenomenon which stared one in the face at the trial. Eichmann was no Iago and no Macbeth, and nothing would have been farther from his mind that to determine with Richard III “to prove a villain”. Except from an extraordinary diligence in looking out for his personal advancement, he had no motives at all. … see postscript No Intention -A central part of her thesis is that evil can be done although the agent had no intention in doing the act. This is difficult to understand because we don’t normally think of evil in these terms. We think of evil as a person with the intention of doing evil. The intention is what makes evil evil. Another formulation “…the phenomenon of evil deeds, committed on a gigantic scale, which could not be traced to any particular
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