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  • Author or Editor: Tinneke Beeckman x


Tinneke Beeckman

This paper looks at immanent approaches to the question of evil. Since the distinction between good and evil is not inherent to nature from this perspective, some clarifications on the origin of that distinction are indispensable. A naturalistic reading of the “Fall of Humankind” shows how this normativeness is linked to the problem of self-image, self-awareness and inner judgment. The first philosopher of immanence discussed is Spinoza and then Nietzsche and Freud. All three thinkers formulate variations on the theme of self-preservation as a natural principle. The paper goes on to question whether the “radical evil” of totalitarian regimes has not altered these naturalist interpretations of evil. It concludes the circle of reflections on self-awareness and inner judgment by referring to Hannah Arendt’s analysis of thoughtlessness and its role in “the banality of evil.”