Bibliography: On Evil (compiled by Jari Kauppinen)
Keskitysleireihin liittyvää kirjallisuutta (compiled by Jari Kauppinen, literature on consentration camps, in Finnish)

Radikaali paha. Paha eurooppalaisessa perinteessä.
("Radical Evil. Evil in European Tradition")
ed. Ari Hirvonen & Toomas Kotkas
(Loki-Kirjat 2004)

A Finnish translation of Kant's text "Radical Evil" and articles analyzing the concept of evil in selected western thinkers, including Kant, Zizek, Nietzsche, Derrida, Benjamin and Arendt. The goal is to provide conceptual means to confront evil in a more philosophical and argumentative way – in the various forms in which it is encountered in our world.

In Finnish!

Evil in Western Tradition – some links

Plato (427 NC – 347 BC)

“none of the wise men considers that anybody ever willingly errs or willingly does base and evil deeds" Plato, Protagoras 345d-e (transl. W.R.M. Lamb)

Protagoras (greek): 345d-359e
Republic (greek): II: 359b-379c , X: 612a-621
Sophist (greek)
Laws (greek)

Aristole (384 BC – 322 BC)

”For the good is not called good of the bad, but the contrary of it; and the white not white of the black, but its contrary. /--/ bad and good are predicated both of men and of many other things, but it is not necessary for one or the other of them to belong to those things they are predicated of (for not all are either bad or good). And between these there is certainly something intermediate – between white and black are grey, yellow and all other colours, and between the bad and the good the neither bad nor good.” Aristotle, Cat. 10, 11b 36 & 12a 14–20 (transl. J.L. Ackrill)

Nicomachean Ethics (greek): II:5-6, III:1, V: 10, VII: 6, 10-11, IX: 4
Categories: 9-11

Plotin (204–270)
Enneads transl. Mackenna & Page

Manichaean Writings
The Gnostic Society Library: Manichaean Writings (including Augustine's antimanichean writings)

St. Augustine (354–430)
”Where is evil then, and from whence, and how crept it in hither? What is the root, and what the seed of it? Or hath it at all no being? /--/ Whence is evil therefore, seeing God who is good, hath created all these things good /--/” St. Augustine, Confessions VII, 5 (transl. W. Watts)

“To the divine providence it has seemed good to prepare in the world to come for the righteous good things, which the unrighteous shall not enjoy; and for the wicked evil things, by which the good shall not be tormented.” Augustine, City of God 1, VIII (transl. Marcus Dods)

Confessiones English transl.: Pussey, Outler
De civitate Dei

St. Anselm of Canterbury (1033 - 1109)
De conceptu virginali et de originali peccato in English

St. Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274)

”As Augustine says (Enchiridion xi):"Since God is the highest good, He would not allow any evil to exist in His works, unless His omnipotence and goodness were such as to bring good even out of evil. " This is part of the infinite goodness of God, that He should allow evil to exist, and out of it produce good.” Summa Theologica

Summa theologica
in lat. (partial), in english (Benziger Bros. edition, 1947)
Cause of Evil
, Of the Good and Evil of Human Acts, Of the Goodness and Malice of the Interior Act of the Will, Of Goodness and Malice in External Human Actions, Of the Consequences of Human Actions by Reason of Their Goodness and Malice, Of Good and Evil in the Passions of the Soul, Of the Goodness and Malice of Pleasures, Of the Goodness and Malice of Sorrow or Pain, Of That Cause of Sin Which Is Malice, etc.

Summa contra gentiles engl. That in God there can be no Evil, That God knows Evil Things, That God cannot will Evil, That Evil in things is beside the Intention of the Agent, That Evil is not a Nature or Essence, That the Cause of Evil is good, That Evil is founded in some Good, etc. ...

Machiavelli (1496–1527): Il principe (1514) in English

Pierre Bayle (1647-1706): Dictionnaire historique et critique

Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz (1646–1716)
Essais de Théodicée

Voltaire (1694–1778)
Le Monde comme il va, Vision de Babou (1746)
Zadig (1747)
"Poème sur la Destruction de Lisbonne, ou Examen de cet Aziome, Tout Bien" (1756)
Candide (1759) in French, another, in English
Dictionaire philosophique
(1764) in French (part) in English (part) another Engish transl.: "Of the Conscience of Good and of Evil"

Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712–1778)
Emile, ou l'education
Discourse sur l’origin et les fondements de l’inégalité parmi les hommes
(1755) in English

David Hume (1711–1776)
Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion

Immanuel Kant (1724-1804)
”Hence we can call this a natural propensity to evil, and as we must, after all, ever hold man himself responsible for it, we can further call it a radical innate evil in human nature (yet none the less brought upon us by ourselves).” (transl. Greene & Hudson)

Die Religion innerhalb der Grenzen der blossen Vernunft (A: 1773, B: 1774). In English (tr. Greene & Hudson)

Marquis de Sade (1740-1814)
Les 120 journées de Sodome (1785)
Les infortunes de la vertu (1787)
Justine (1791)
La Philosophie dans le boudoir (1795)
La nouvelle Justine (1797)
Histoire de Juliette (1801)
more texts

F.W.J. Schelling (1775-1854)
Philosophisches Untersuchungen über das Wesen der Menschlichen Freiheit

G.W.F. Hegel (1770-1831)
Phänomenologie des Geistes (1807) transl. Baillie
Vorlesungen über die Philosophie der Geschichte
transl. introduction
Vorlesungen über die Historie der Religion transl. introduction

Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860)

Søren Kierkegaard (1813-1855)

Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900)
“The pathos of nobility and distance, as aforesaid, the protracted and domineering fundamental total feeling on the part of a higher ruling order in relation to a lower order, to a "below"—that is the origin of the antithesis "good" and "bad." (Genealogy of Morals, Section 2)

Zur Genealogie der Moral (1887) transl. another transl .

Sigmung Freud (1856-1939)

Martin Heidegger (1889-1976)
”The concepts of privation and lack – which, moreover, are not very transparent – are already insufficient for the ontological Interpretation of the phenomenon of quilt, though if we take them formally enough, we can put them to considerable use. Least of all can we come any closer to the existential phenomenon of quilt by takin our orientation from the idea of evil, the malumas privatio boni. Just as the bonum and its privatio have the same ontological origin in the ontology of the present-at-hand, this ontology also applies to the idea of 'value', which has been 'abstracted' from these.
Not only can entities whose Being is care load themselves with factucal guilt, but they are guilty in the very basis of their Being; and this Being-quilty is what provides, above all, the ontological condition for Dasein's ability to come to owe anything in factically existing. This essential Being-quilty is, equiprimordially, the existential condition for the possibility of the 'morally' good and for that of the 'morally' evil–that is, for morality in general and for the possible forms which this may take factically. The primodrial "Being-quilty" cannot be defined by morality, since morality already presupposes it for itself.” Being and Time, §58, "Understanding the Appeal, and Guilt" (transl. Macquarrie & Robinson)


Hannah Arendt (1906-1975)

Hannah Arendt Papers

Emmanuel Levinas (1906-1995)

“Transcendance et mal”

A Century with Levinas

Jacques Lacan (1901-1981)

Bibliothèque Lacan

Michel Foucault (1926-1984)

Michel Foucault, info.

Jacques Derrida (1930-2004)

Derrida: Online


Other links:

Eurooppalaisen ajattelun tutkimusryhmä

Kriittinen korkeakoulu

Nuoren Voiman Liitto


Niin & näin

Emil Aaltosen säätiö