In the early years of this century, we have been exposed increasingly to the idea that there are still indisputable evils in the world - terrorism, war, ethnic violence, and the destruction of the environment, just to name a few. But does it still make sense to talk about good and evil, or are these concepts too simplistic, especially when applied to complex social, political, and economic issues? Even if we think the terms still have meaning, are we as human beings responsible for the good and evil carried out in the world? With these questions in mind, we will explore conceptions of good and evil selected from various philosophical and religions traditions. We will also apply the different perspectives we examine to modern ethical and political problems. The aim of this course will be to encourage students to think critically about what it means to be a responsible human being and a citizen of the world in the 21st century.
Students who have taken PHIL 408 Good and Evil cannot take this course.