Arendt and Kant: banality of evil and radical evil
Keywords:Radical evil. Banality of evil. Totalitarianism.
AbstractIn The Origins of Totalitarianism Hannah Arendt employs the term radical evil, understood as absolute evil, to refer to the production of superfluity in concentration camps. In Eichmann in Jerusalem she employs the term banality of evil to refer to the conduct of individuals like Adolf K. Eichmann, who in their superficiality have witnessed an unprecedented gap between the wrongdoer and the stature of their transgressions. I intend to examine in this text the use of these expressions by Arendt, particularly starting from his references to Kant’s reflection on radical evil.
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