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Comparative Philosophy: Philosophical Explanations of Evil Across Cultures

Phil 193

Dr. Charles Verharen

PART ONE: THE NATURE OF PHILOSOPHICAL EXPLANATION

Comparing philosophy to other intellectual disciplines, the first part of the course will examine cross-cultural attempts to separate philosophy from science, history, and art. In chronological order we will start with ancient Egyptian, Hindu, Buddhist, and Chinese philosophical methodology before moving to traditional European systems.

PART TWO: SEPARATING GOOD FROM EVIL

Following the same order as part one, we will examine selected ethical systems of the philosophies considered in part one. Of particular interest is the correlation between cosmology and ethics in each of the various systems.

PART THREE: EXPLAINING EVIL

In this section we will concentrate on explanations of evil found in modern and contemporary European philosophy, with special emphasis on Leibniz, Rousseau, Kant, Nietzsche, and Freud. We will briefly consider the 20th century explanations of Camus, Arendt, and Rawls.

PART FOUR: OVERCOMING EVIL

In this section we will focus on the efforts of contemporary psychologists to comprehend evil as a form of behavior that may be changed. In particular we will examine Ervin Staub's efforts to understand genocide and even to predict its occurrence. We will follow the case studies of Staub taken from Europe, Asia, and Africa. We will also examine James Waller's recommendations for preventing genocide. We will close with a brief examination of the attempts of contemporary evolutionary psychologists to understand evil as a behavioral phenomenon.

PART FIVE: EVIL IN THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY

We will close the course with a brief consideration of evil as a rhetorical device used to further political aims.

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Aesthetics
African American Philosophy
Afro-Caribbean Philosophy
Ancient Egyptian Philosophy
Ancient Egyptian Philosophy
Ancient Greek Philosophy
Classical Ethics
Comparative Philosophy: Philosophical Explanations of Evil Across Cultures
Current Topics: Philosophy and Ethics of Appropriate Technology and Development
Current Topics: Africana Philosophy and Film
Environmental Ethics
Epistemology
Ethics and Public Policy
Ethics of Medical Care
Ethics of Medical Care
History of Africana Philosophy
Introduction to Ethics
Introduction to Philosophy
Introduction to Social and Political Philosophy
Medieval Philosophy
Metaphysics
Modern Philosophy
Philosophy of Education
Philosophy of Language
Philosophy of Mind
Philosophy of Religion
Philosophy of Social Science
Pragmatism
Principles of Reasoning
Representative Thinkers
Seminar on Aristotle 
Symbolic Logic

 

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