Ethics in an Age of Terror and Genocide: Identity and Moral Choice

By Kristen Renwick Monroe | Go to book overview

APPENDIX B
Glossary of Terms and Central Concepts

THE TERMS LISTED BELOW fall into two categories: (1) terms I developed to explain key psychological phenomena that seem critical for understanding the psychology surrounding genocide, such as canonical expectations and moral salience; and (2) terms (such as identity) that are used so widely—and differently—from one scholar to another that some description of my own usage of these particular concepts is in order. My intent here is not to present a full discussion of the concept but rather to provide more specificity on how I use the term.

Canonical expectations refers to the actor’s expectations about what is normal and ordinary and the actor’s expectations about what should occur in the normal course of human behavior, including the actor’s sense that such normal behavior is right and proper. It is not merely expectations; it carries the important overtone of something being the way it should in a normative sense.

Categorization refers to the process by which ideas and objects are recognized, differentiated, or distinguished from one another and then understood. Categorization or classification—I use the terms interchangeably—suggests objects are grouped into categories or classes, usually for some specific purpose. Ideally, a category or classification will illuminate a relationship between the subjects and objects of knowledge.

Conceptually, categorization is utilized in work on language, inference, prediction, and decision making. There are three general and slightly different approaches to categorization, beginning with the classical concept found in Plato and Aristotle. The classical Aristotelian notion of categorization posits categories as discrete entities characterized by a set of properties shared by their members. In analytic philosophy these properties then are assumed to set conditions that are both necessary and sufficient to describe meaning. These categories or classes are meant to be clearly defined, mutually exclusive, and collectively exhaustive. The implication of this is that an entry in the designated classification category belongs unequivocally to one, and only one, of the proposed categories.

In contrast to the classical Aristotelian categorization, we find conceptual categorization, designed to explain how knowledge is represented. The conceptual approach assumes classes (sometimes called clusters or entities) are generated initially by formulating their conceptual descriptions; the entities then are classified according to these descriptions. This approach emerged during the 1980s as a machine paradigm to explain unsupervised learning. It is frequently differentiated from ordinary data clustering by first generating a concept description for each generated category. Categorization in which the category labels are made available

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Ethics in an Age of Terror and Genocide: Identity and Moral Choice
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents ix
  • Acknowledgments xi
  • Part 1- The Puzzle 1
  • Chapter 1- Introduction 3
  • Chapter 2- The Holocaust and Genocide 9
  • Part 2- A Study in Contrasts 32
  • Chapter 3- Tony- Rescuer 35
  • Chapter 4- Beatrix- Bystander 92
  • Chapter 5- Kurt- Soldier for the Nazis 114
  • Chapter 6- Fritz- Nazi Propagandist 138
  • Chapter 7- Florentine- Unrepentant Political Nazi 160
  • Part 3- Cracking the Code 187
  • Chapter 8- The Political Psychology of Genocide 189
  • Chapter 9- A Theory of Moral Choice 248
  • Conclusion the Psychology of Difference 301
  • Methodological Afterword 321
  • Appendix A 323
  • Appendix B Glossary of Terms and Central Concepts 347
  • Notes 353
  • References 405
  • Index 433
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