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The Danger of Innocence

The Danger of Innocence

Chapter:
(p.215) 12 The Danger of Innocence
Source:
Human Predicaments
Author(s):
John Kekes
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226359595.003.0012

An unavoidable problem in our evaluative framework is the conflict between the ideal of a simple life in which we live as we think we should and the need to understand that the complexities of life are caused by inescapable conflicts between modes of evaluations and the resulting problems and conflicts discussed in the preceding chapters. The dangers of innocence are considered by reflecting on Sophocles’ Deianera who was innocent through and through and, as a result, grievously harmed both those she loved and herself. Ideal theories continue to pursue the impossible goal of a simple and innocent life free of problems and conflicts, believing in the basic human disposition toward reason and the good. Such a life is impossible, given our nature, evaluative framework, modes of evaluation. The aim of the book has been to show that for us ideal theories are impossible and problems and conflicts are inescapable.

Keywords:   problem, conflict, innocence, reflection, Deianera case, ideal theories, evaluative framework, overriding mode of evaluation, contextdependence

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