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Evil in Contemporary Political Theory$
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Bruce Haddock and Peri Roberts

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780748641963

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748641963.001.0001

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Unreasonable or Evil?

Unreasonable or Evil?

(p.81) Chapter 5 Unreasonable or Evil?
Evil in Contemporary Political Theory

Kerstin Budde

Edinburgh University Press

Fulfilling lives are led in co-operation with others. This chapter explores the implications of a denial of a capacity to co-operate. It accepts the link between reasonableness and justice, and focuses on the ramifications of unreasonableness in social worlds that must necessarily be co-operative, however specific terms of co-operation might be worked out in particular texts. It notes that evil is unreasonable, but no one would contend that unreasonableness should always be equated with evil. Unreasonableness, however, always undermines basic reciprocity between human beings. The fact that unreasonableness offers a spectrum of positions, with evil at one extreme, actually highlights the seriousness of ordinary engagements in which free and equal status is denied.

Keywords:   fulfilling lives, justice, unreasonableness, social worlds, equal status

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