Phillip Cole The Myth of Evil

ISBN 13: 9780748622009

The Myth of Evil

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9780748622009: The Myth of Evil
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Cole has written the best book on evil to date; it deserves a place on the shelves of both academic and public libraries. Choice Does evil really exist? No, thinks Phillip Cole, but it is extremely useful as a political myth. His varied and interesting cultural study of the idea begins by tracing the literary development of Satan, from a part of God himself or a kind of prosecutorial accuser at God's side in the Pentateuch, to the fully fledged anti-God in the New Testament. Thence we take in Faust, Kant and Nietzsche, child murderers and the Holocaust, with a luridly fascinating interlude for witch-hunting and the less familiar epidemics of vampires in 18th-century central Europe. The Guardian Philip Cole's work takes an important stance against the belief that we are helpless in the face if evil. Cole rejects this impotence point blank and his book is a comprehensive analysis of the theme with a cool, direct and non-nonsense approach. -- Claudia Nielsen Network Review Cole has written the best book on evil to date; it deserves a place on the shelves of both academic and public libraries. Does evil really exist? No, thinks Phillip Cole, but it is extremely useful as a political myth. His varied and interesting cultural study of the idea begins by tracing the literary development of Satan, from a part of God himself or a kind of prosecutorial accuser at God's side in the Pentateuch, to the fully fledged anti-God in the New Testament. Thence we take in Faust, Kant and Nietzsche, child murderers and the Holocaust, with a luridly fascinating interlude for witch-hunting and the less familiar epidemics of vampires in 18th-century central Europe. Philip Cole's work takes an important stance against the belief that we are helpless in the face if evil. Cole rejects this impotence point blank and his book is a comprehensive analysis of the theme with a cool, direct and non-nonsense approach.

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A philosophical history of the concept of evil in western culture. 'Evil is something to be feared, and historically, we shall see, it is the enemy within who has been seen as representing the most intense evil of all - the enemy who looks just like us, talks like us, and is just like us.' The Myth of Evil explores a contradiction: the belief that human beings cannot commit acts of pure evil, that they cannot inflict harm for its own sake, and the evidence that pure 'evil' truly is a human capacity. Acts of horror are committed not by inhuman 'monsters', but by ordinary human beings. This contradiction is clearest in the apparently 'extreme' acts of war criminals, terrorists, serial murderers, sex offenders and children who kill. Phillip Cole delves deep into our two, cosily established approaches to evil. There is the traditional approach where evil is a force which creates monsters in human shape. And there is the 'enlightened' perspective where evil is the consequence of the actions of misguided or mentally deranged agents. Cole rejects both approaches. Satan may have played a role in its evolution, but evil is really a myth we have created about ourselves. And to understand it fully, we must acknowledge this. Drawing on the philosophical ideas of Nietzsche, Arendt, Kant, Mary Midgley and others, as well as theology, psychoanalysis, fictional representations and contemporary political events such as the global 'war on terror', Cole presents an account of evil that is thorough and thought-provoking, and which, more fundamentally, compels us to reassess our understanding of human nature.

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ISBN 10:  0275992160 ISBN 13:  9780275992163
Verlag: Praeger, 2006
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Phillip Cole
Verlag: Edinburgh Univ. Press (2006)
ISBN 10: 0748622004 ISBN 13: 9780748622009
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Buchbeschreibung Edinburgh Univ. Press, 2006. Gut/Very good: Buch bzw. Schutzumschlag mit wenigen Gebrauchsspuren an Einband, Schutzumschlag oder Seiten. / Describes a book or dust jacket that does show some signs of wear on either the binding, dust jacket or pages. Artikel-Nr. M00748622004-V

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