The common belief is that it is appropriate to feel moral horror when faced with cases of extreme evil (such as the Nazi holocaust). It is argued here that this is a mistake, and that certain kinds of emotional reactions (including horror, shock and outrage) only reinforce our own self-images, and do nothing to understand or cure moral evil. A better policy is to consider such cases impartially (though also seriously), as we would with non-moral mistakes: otherwise these reactions are self-indulgent.
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Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: University of Oxford, Department of Educational Studies, 15 Norham Gardens, Oxford OX2 6PY, UK Department of Philosophy, King's College, London, WC2R 2LS, UK
Publication date: December 1, 2003