2010 Spring Lecture: The Nature of Evil
The 20th century witnessed the Holocaust, an unparalleled evil in the eyes of most people, as well as attempted genocide in Rwanda. The beginning of the 21st century saw the launching of a so-called “war” against terrorism, proclaimed to be a struggle of good against evil. BUT WHAT IS EVIL? If we don’t know what we’re struggling against, we’re unlikely to be successful. We can kill plenty of people, but we won’t know that we’re killing evil people. Nonviolence provides a perspective from which to answer this question and points the way to a more constructive response to violence than mere condemnation and force.
Professor Holmes distinguished career in ethics and peace studies has taken him around the world. He is Professor Emeritus at the University of Rochester. He is the first recipient of the Rajiv Gandhi Professor of Peace and Disarmament, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, and is a former Fulbright Lecturer, Moscow State University. Most recently, he held the McCullough Distinguished Visiting Professor of Political Philosophy, Hamilton College. He has also served as president of the international group, Concerned Philosophers for Peace.
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