What is it in the behavioral makeup of ordinary people, operating in the course of ordinary daily living, that lends itself to participating in horrendous activities and doing so at times with zeal, at times with joy, at times without duress? Katz demonstrates that we do not need any special behavioral equipment for doing evil. The very same behaviors can take us in both directions for either living humanely and decently or for doing evil. This book demonstrates how some of these processes work, and sensitizes us to the potential for evil in our ongoing daily activities. This knowledge about ordinary behavior can empower us to take charge of our own direction, and help us turn away from beguilings of evil when they come our way.
|Publisher:||State University of New York Press|
About the Author
Fred Emil Katz is Professor of Sociology, and has taught at various universities in the United States and Israel, including the State University of New York at Buffalo and Tel Aviv University.
Table of Contents
Introduction: From the Ordinary to the Extraordinary
Look at Evil Behaviorally
Is Evil Real?
Who Produces Extraordinary Evil?
Overview of the Book
1. Confronting Evil and its Paradoxes
Arendt's View of Eichmann
Is a Dispassionate Study of Evil Possible?
The Desire to Ignore Evil
People May Deliberately Engage in Evil Activities
2. Behavior Mechanisms at Work
Packages and Riders
The Question of Autonomy: The Cunning of Governments and the Contributions of Citizens
3. Some Faces of Evil
A Humane American Physician
An SS Physician
A Nazi Bureaucrat: Chief of the Auschwitz Extermination Camp
4. Conclusion: Turning away from Evil
A Fable About the Two Research-Minded Physicians
Raoul Wallenberg and Rudolf Hoess Revisited
The Compelling Power of Immediacy and Extricating Oneself from Taking Part in Evil
Another Look at the Five Paradoxes: Some Answers, Some New Questions, Some Hope
The Larger Picture