Moral Philosophy and the Holocaust

Moral Philosophy and the Holocaust

by Geoffrey Scarre, Eve Garrard
     
 

How far can we ever hope to understand the Holocaust? What can we reasonably say about right and wrong, moral responsibility, praise and blame, in a world where ordinary reasons seem to be excluded? In the century of Nazism, ethical writing in English had much more to say about the meaning of the word `good` than about the material reality of evil. This book seeks… See more details below

Overview

How far can we ever hope to understand the Holocaust? What can we reasonably say about right and wrong, moral responsibility, praise and blame, in a world where ordinary reasons seem to be excluded? In the century of Nazism, ethical writing in English had much more to say about the meaning of the word `good` than about the material reality of evil. This book seeks to redress the balance at the start of a new century.

Despite intense interest in the Holocaust, there has been relatively little exploration of it by philosophers in the analytic tradition. Although ethical writers often refer to Nazism as a touchstone example of evil, and use it as a case by which moral theorising can be tested, they rarely analyse what evil amounts to, or address the substantive moral questions raised by the Holocaust itself.

This book draws together new work by leading moral philosophers to present a wide range of perspectives on the Holocaust. Contributors focus on particular themes of central importance, including: moral responsibility for genocide; the moral uniqueness of the Holocaust; responding to extreme evil; the role of ideology; the moral psychology of perpetrators and victims of genocide; forgiveness and the Holocaust; and the impact of the `Final Solution` on subsequent culture. Topics are treated with the precision and rigour characteristic of analytic philosophy. Scholars, teachers and students with an interest in moral theory, applied ethics, genocide and Holocaust studies will find this book of particular value, as will all those seeking greater insight into ethical issues surrounding Nazism, race-hatred and intolerance. CONTENTS: Contents: Introduction, Eve Garrard and Geoffrey Scarre
Philosophy's contribution to Holocaust studies, Berel Lang
Ideology, moral complicity and the Holocaust, David E. Cooper
In a class of its own?, Norman Geras
Knowledge, history and the Holocaust, Tom Rockmore
Persons of lesser value: moral argument and the 'Final Solution', Hillel Steiner
Perpetrator motivation: some reflections on the Browning/Goldhagen debate, Nick Zangwill
Moral responsibility and the Holocaust, Geoffrey Scarre
Four types of mass murderer: Stalin, Hitler, Churchill, Truman, Douglas P. Lackey
Is limited altruism morally wrong?, Michael Freeman
Harming some to save others from the Nazis, Frances M. Kamm
Tragic decisions: removing Jewish children from their Christian guardians in post-war Europe, Daniel Statman
Forgiving the unforgivable?, Laurence Thomas
Forgiveness and the Holocaust, Eve Garrard
The Holocaust and the possibility of art, Oliver Leaman
The Holocaust in American Life as a moral text, Lawrence Blum
Index.

Read More

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780754614159
Publisher:
Ashgate Publishing, Limited
Publication date:
03/01/2003
Pages:
240
Product dimensions:
6.30(w) x 9.30(h) x 0.90(d)

Meet the Author

Table of Contents

Notes on Contributors
Introduction
1Philosophy's Contribution to Holocaust Studies1
2Ideology, Moral Complicity and the Holocaust9
3In a Class of its Own?25
4Knowledge, History and the Holocaust57
5Persons of Lesser Value: Moral Argument and the 'Final Solution'75
6Perpetrator Motivation: Some Reflections on the Browning/Goldhagen Debate89
7Moral Responsibility and the Holocaust103
8Four Types of Mass Murderer: Stalin, Hitler, Churchill, Truman117
9Is Limited Altruism Morally Wrong?137
10Harming Some to Save Others from the Nazis155
11Tragic Decisions: Removing Jewish Children from their Christian Guardians in Postwar Europe169
12Forgiving the Unforivable?201
13Forgiveness and the Holocaust231
14The Holocaust and the Possibility of Art247
15The Holocaust in American Life as a Moral Text257
Index275

Read More

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >