Conceptions of Evil

Course NameConceptions of Evil
Course CodePHI555
DescriptionThe purpose of this course is to explores and critically examine the most prominent interpretations of the phenomenon of evil put forward by the great philosophical, political, and religious thinkers of humanity. The unprecedented eruption of evil that occurred in our part of the world in the context of the 20th Century totalitarianisms, the ongoing horrors of genocides, ethnic cleansings, and terrorist atrocities, as well as the universality of the experience of evil in individual lives of people across times and cultures, makes reflection on evil a good point of departure in the global search for the common moral ground in our increasingly fragmented and yet increasingly interconnected world. For this reason this course, while focusing primarily on the concepts of evil developed within the Western intellectual tradition, explores also the Asian contributions to the human thinking about the sources and the nature of evil.
Learning OutcomesUpon completion of this course, students should be able to:
– Comprehend and have a clear understanding of the main philosophical attempts to define and explain the phenomenon of evil;
– Outline, analyze and criticize the arguments put forward by the greatest thinkers of humanity whose works shed light on the problem of evil;
– Place in the historical and social context the most extreme examples of “political evil”;
– Compare and contrast philosophical, religious, psychological and political accounts of evil.
SchoolSchool of Humanities & Social Sciences
Number of credits (US / ECTS)3 US / 6 ECTS