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Naming Evil Judging Evil$
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Ruth W. Grant

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780226306735

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226306742.001.0001

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Inequality and the Problem of Evil

Inequality and the Problem of Evil

Chapter:
(p.75) Chapter 4 Inequality and the Problem of Evil
Source:
Naming Evil Judging Evil
Author(s):

Nannerl O. Keohane

Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226306742.003.0005

This chapter explores the relation between inequality and evil in all of its dimensions. The argument proceeds through an analysis and critique of Jean–Jacques Rousseau's understanding of the origins and the impact of social, political, and economic inequalities. Inequalities of wealth and power set the conditions for evildoing and themselves can be the motivation for severe mistreatment. Moreover, inequality can undermine the natural impulses of compassion that temper injustice and evil in human relations. Inequality is not just an incidental accompaniment of evil but central to it. Thus, a sincere attempt to confront the problem of evil must begin by attending to inequality.

Keywords:   inequality, evil, Jean–Jacques Rousseau, mistreatment, compassion

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