Philosophy: March 2011, Vol. 86, No. 2

Article excerpt

Defining Evil Away: Arendt's Forgiveness, ABIGAIL L. ROSENTHAL

Arendt claims that evil is banal and its perpetrators merely shallow. Deliberate evil she takes to be extremely rare. However, nonrare examples of deliberate evil, whose aim is to spoil one's story, abound in everyday life. Arendt also makes forgiveness personal, not requiring repentance. This prompts a consideration of certain personal relations among philosophers. Heidegger's relation to Husserl shows a betrayal of teacher by student. His seductive and philosophic power over Arendt, a betrayal of student by teacher, should not be dismissed in terms of reductive Freudian notions. Faced with a real feminine predicament, Arendt made the wrong choices: in her exoneration of Heidegger, her report on the Eichmann trial, and her exculpatory doctrine of eviL--Correspondence to:

The Epistemology of Ethical Intuitions, HALLVARD LILLEHAMMER

Intuitions are widely assumed to play an important evidential role in ethical inquiry. In this paper, the author critically discusses a recently influential claim that the epistemological credentials of ethical intuitions are undermined by their causal pedigree and functional role. The author holds this claim to be exaggerated, and in the course of showing this, it is argued that the challenge to ethical intuitions embodied in this claim should be understood not only as a narrowly epistemological challenge, but also as a substantially ethical one. Further, the author argues that this fact illuminates the epistemology of ethical intuitions.--Correspondence to:

Substance Dualism Fortified, N. M. L. NATHAN

You have a body, but you are a soul, or self. Without your body, you could still exist. Your body could be and perhaps is outlasted by the immaterial substance which is your soul or self. Thus argues the substance dualist. Most substance dualists are Cartesians. The self, they suppose, is essentially conscious: it cannot exist unless it thinks or wills or has experiences. In this paper, the author sketches out a different form of substance dualism, suggesting that it is not consciousness but another immaterial feature which is essential to the self, a feature in one way analogous to a nondispositional taste. Each self has moreover a different feature of this general kind. If this is right, then simple and straightforward answers are available to some questions which prove troublesome to the Cartesian, consciousness-requiring type of substance dualist. The author means the questions: How can the self exist in dreamless sleep? …