Skip to main content Accessibility help
Kant's Anatomy of Evil
  • Export citation
  • Recommend to librarian
  • Buy the print book

Book description

Kant infamously claimed that all human beings, without exception, are evil by nature. This collection of essays critically examines and elucidates what he must have meant by this indictment. It shows the role which evil plays in his overall philosophical project and analyses its relation to individual autonomy. Furthermore, it explores the relevance of Kant's views for understanding contemporary questions such as crimes against humanity and moral reconstruction. Leading scholars in the field engage a wide range of sources from which a distinctly Kantian theory of evil emerges, both subtle and robust, and capable of shedding light on the complex dynamics of human immorality.


Refine List

Actions for selected content:

Select all | Deselect all
  • View selected items
  • Export citations
  • Download PDF (zip)
  • Send to Kindle
  • Send to Dropbox
  • Send to Google Drive

Save Search

You can save your searches here and later view and run them again in "My saved searches".

Please provide a title, maximum of 40 characters.


Select bibliography
Adams, R. M., “Introduction,” in Wood, A. and Giovanni, G. di (eds.), Immanuel Kant: Religion within the Boundaries of Mere Reason and Other Writings (Cambridge University Press, 1998).
Allison, H. E., Lessing and the Enlightenment (Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press, 1966).
Allison, H.Kant's Theory of Freedom (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1990).
Allison, H. “Reflections on the Banality of (Radical) Evil: A Kantian Analysis,” in Idealism and Freedom: Essays on Kant's Theoretical and Practical Philosophy (Cambridge University Press, 1996).
Allison, H.Ethics, Evil and Anthropology in Kant: Remarks on Allen Wood's Kant's Ethical Thought,” Ethics 111, 3 (April 2001).
Allison, H.On the Very Idea of a Propensity to Evil,” Journal of Value Inquiry, 36, 2–3 (2002).
Anderson-Gold, S., “Kant's Rejection of Devilishness: The Limits of Human Volition,” Idealistic Studies, 14 (1984).
Anderson-Gold, S.Kant's Ethical Commonwealth: The Highest Good as a Social Goal,” International Philosophical Quarterly, 26 (1986).
Anderson-Gold, S. “God and Community: An Inquiry into the Religious Implications of the Highest Good,” in Rossi, P. and Wreen, M. (eds.), Kant's Philosophy of Religion Reconsidered (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1991).
Anderson-Gold, S.Kant's Ethical Anthropology and the Critical Foundations of the Philosophy of History,” History of Philosophy Quarterly, 11, 4 (1994).
Anderson-Gold, S.Cosmopolitanism and Human Rights (Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 2001).
Anderson-Gold, S.Unnecessary Evil: History and Moral Progress in the Philosophy of Immanuel Kant (Albany: State University of New York Press, 2001).
Anderson-Gold, S. “The Cosmopolitan Foundations of the Kantian State” (unpublished manuscript).
Arendt, H., Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil, revised and enlarged edition (New York: Penguin, 1977).
Arendt, H.The Origins of Totalitarianism (San Diego: Harcourt, 1994).
Arendt, H.The Portable Hannah Arendt, ed. Baehr, P. (New York: Penguin, 2000).
Arendt, H. and Jaspers, K., Correspondence 1926–1969, trans. L. Kohler and H. Saner (New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1992).
Aristotle, , The Nicomachean Ethics, trans. D. Ross (New York: Oxford University Press, 1925).
Auerbach, E., Mimesis: The Representation of Reality in Western Literature (Princeton University Press, 1968).
Augustine, St., The City of God, trans. Henry Bettenson (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1977).
Bauman, Z., Modernity and the Holocaust (Oxford: Polity Press, 1989).
Beck, L. W., A Commentary on Kant's Critique of Practical Reason (University of Chicago Press, 1960).
Beiser, F., “Moral Faith and the Highest Good,” in Guyer, P. (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to Kant and Modern Philosophy (Cambridge University Press, 2006).
Benhabib, S., The Rights of Others: Aliens, Residents and Citizens (Cambridge University Press, 2004).
Bernstein, R. J., Radical Evil: A Philosophical Interrogation (Cambridge, MA: Polity Press, 2002).
Bernstein, R. J.The Abuse of Evil: The Corruption of Politics and Religion since 9/11 (Cambridge, MA: Polity Press, 2005).
Bielefeldt, H., Symbolic Representation in Kant's Practical Philosophy (Cambridge University Press, 2003).
Branham, G., Kant's Practical Philosophy: From Critique to Doctrine (Basingstoke and New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003).
Card, C., The Atrocity Paradigm: A Theory of Evil (New York: Oxford University Press, 2002).
Caswell, M., “Kant on the Diabolical Will: A Neglected Alternative?Kantian Review, 12, 2 (2007).
Dews, P., “Disenchantment and the Persistence of Evil,” in Schrift, A. (ed.), Modernity and the Problem of Evil (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2005).
Doris, J., Lack of Character: Personality and Moral Behavior (Cambridge University Press, 2002).
DuBois, W. E. B., The Souls of Black Folk (New York: New American Library, 1969).
Eberhard, J. A., “Über das Kantische radicale Böse in der menschlichen Natur,” Philosophisches Archiv, 2, 2 (1794).
Fackenheim, E., “Kant and Radical Evil,” University of Toronto Quarterly, 23 (1954).
Ferrara, A., “The Evil That Men Do: A Meditation on Radical Evil from a Postmetaphysical Point of View,” in Lara, M. P. (ed.), Rethinking Evil: Contemporary Perspectives (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2001).
Frei, H. W., The Eclipse of Biblical Narrative: A Study in Eighteenth and Nineteenth Century Hermeneutics (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1974).
Frierson, P., Freedom and Anthropology in Kant's Moral Philosophy (Cambridge University Press, 2003).
Frierson, P.The Moral Importance of Politeness in Kant's Anthropology,” Kantian Review, 9 (2005).
Frierson, P.Review: Richard Dean, Kant and the Value of Humanity,” Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews, 04.17 (2007), online at
Frierson, P. “Two Standpoints and the Problem of Moral Anthropology” (unpublished manuscript).
Frye, M., Willful Virgin: Essays in Feminism 1976–1992 (Freedom, CA: The Crossing Press, 1992).
Gilbert, P., New Wars, New Terrors (Edinburgh University Press, 2003).
Grant, R. W. (ed.), Naming Evil, Judging Evil, Foreword by MacIntyre, A. (University of Chicago Press, 2006).
Grenberg, J., Kant and the Ethics of Humility: A Story of Dependence, Corruption, and Virtue (Cambridge University Press, 2005).
Guyer, P., “Kant's Deductions of the Principles of Right,” in Timmons, M. (ed.), Kant's Metaphysics of Morals: Interpretative Essays (Oxford University Press, 2002).
Guyer, P. “The Strategy of Kant's Groundwork,” in Kant on Freedom, Law, and Happiness (Cambridge University Press, 2000).
Harman, G., Explaining Value and Other Essays in Moral Philosophy (Oxford University Press, 2000).
Hauerwas, S., “Seeing Darkness, Hearing Silence,” in Grant, R. (ed.), Naming Evil, Judging Evil (University of Chicago Press, 2006).
Herman, B., The Practice of Moral Judgment (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1993).
Herman, B. “Making Room for Character,” in Engstrom, S. and Whiting, J. (eds.), Aristotle, Kant, and the Stoics: Rethinking Happiness and Duty (Cambridge University Press, 1996).
Herman, B. “Contingency in Obligation,” in Moral Literacy (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2007).
Hewitt, A., “The Bad Seed: ‘Auschwitz’ and the Physiology of Evil,” in Copjec, J. (ed.), Radical Evil (London and New York: Verso, 1996).
Holtman, S. W., “Revolution, Contradictions, and Kantian Citizenship,” in Timmons, M. (ed.), Kant's Metaphysics of Morals (Oxford University Press, 2002).
Kamtekar, R., “Situationism and Virtue Ethics on the Content of Our Character,” Ethics, 114 (2003).
Kant, I., Anthropology from a Pragmatic Point of View, trans. and ed. Louden, R. B., Cambridge Texts in the History of Philosophy (Cambridge University Press, 2006).
Kant, I.Cambridge Edition of the Works of Immanuel Kant (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1992–).
Kant, I.Critique of Pure Reason, trans. Smith, N. K. (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1965).
Kant, I.Foundations of the Metaphysics of Morals, trans. Beck, L. W. (Indianapolis and New York: Bobbs-Merrill, 1959).
Kant, I.Immanuel Kants gesammelte Schriften, Ausgabe der königlich preussischen Akademie der Wissenschaften (Berlin: W. de Gruyter, 1902–).
Kant, I.Kant: Political Writings, ed. Reiss, Hans (Cambridge University Press, 1970).
Kant, I.Religion within the Limits of Reason Alone, trans. Grene, T. M. and Hudson, H. H. (LaSalle: Open Court, 1934; 2nd edn, New York: Harper & Row, 1960).
Korsgaard, C. M., Creating the Kingdom of Ends (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1996).
Korsgaard, C. M. “Taking the Law into our Own Hands: Kant on the Right to Revolution,” in Reath, A., Herman, B., and Korsgaard, C. M. (eds.), Reclaiming the History of Ethics (Cambridge University Press, 1997).
Kosch, M., Freedom and Reason in Kant, Schelling, and Kierkegaard (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 2006).
Lara, M. P., (ed.), Rethinking Evil: Contemporary Perspectives (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 2001).
Levi, P., The Drowned and the Saved (New York: Vintage, 1989).
Lifton, R. J., The Nazi Doctors: Medical Killing and the Psychology of Genocide (New York: Basic Books, 1986).
Louden, R. B., Kant's Impure Ethics: From Rational Beings to Human Beings (New York: Oxford University Press, 2000).
Louden, R. B.Anthropology from a Kantian Point of View: Toward a Cosmopolitan Conception of Human Nature,” Studies in History and Philosophy of Science A, 39 (December 2008).
May, L.Crimes against Humanity: A Normative Account (Cambridge University Press, 2005).
McBride, W. L., “Liquidating the ‘Nearly Just Society’: Radical Evil's Triumphant Return,” in Schrift, A. (ed.), Modernity and the Problem of Evil (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2005).
McDougall, S. and Harris, P., The Woman Who Wouldn't Talk (New York: Carol & Graf, 2003).
Michalson, G. E., Jr., Fallen Freedom: Kant on Radical Evil and Moral Regeneration (Cambridge University Press, 1990).
Michalson, G. E.Moral Regeneration and Divine Aid in Kant,” Religious Studies, 25 (1989).
Milgram, S., “Behavioral Study of Obedience,” Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, 67 (1963).
Montaigne, M. E., Essais, (ed.), Tournon, A. (Paris: Imprimerie nationale, 1998).
Montaigne, M. E.The Complete Essays, (trans.), Screech, M. A. (London: Penguin Books, 1991).
Morgan, S., “The Missing Formal Proof of Humanity's Radical Evil in Kant's Religion,” The Philosophical Review, 114, 1 (January 2005).
Muchnik, P., “On the Alleged Vacuity of Kant's Concept of Evil,” Kant-Studien, 4 (2006).
Muchnik, P.Kant's Theory of Evil: An Essay on the Dangers of Self-Love and the Aprioricity of History. (Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2009).
Munzel, F., Kant's Conception of Moral Character: The “Critical” Link of Morality, Anthropology, and Reflective Judgment (University of Chicago Press, 1999).
Nagel, T., Mortal Questions (Cambridge University Press, 1979).
Neiman, S., The Unity of Reason: Rereading Kant (New York: Oxford University Press, 1994).
Neiman, S.Evil in Modern Thought: An Alternative History of Philosophy (Princeton University Press, 2002).
Nietzsche, F., Beyond Good and Evil: Prelude to a Philosophy of the Future (New York: Vintage Books, 1966).
O'Connor, D., “Good and Evil Disposition,” Kant-Studien, 3 (1985).
O'Neill, O. “Reason and Autonomy in Grundlegung III,” in Constructions of Reason: Explorations of Kant's Practical Philosophy (Cambridge University Press, 1989).
Packer, G., “Knowing the Enemy: The Anthropology of Insurgency,” The New Yorker (December 18, 2006).
Pinkard, T., German Philosophy 1760–1869: The Legacy of Idealism (Cambridge University Press, 2002).
Prauss, G., Kant über Freiheit als Autonomie (Frankfurt am Main: Vittorio Klostermann, 1983).
Reath, A., Agency and Autonomy in Kant's Moral Theory (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 2006).
Rossi, P. J., “Autonomy and Community: The Social Character of Kant's Moral Faith,” Modern Schoolman, 61 (1984).
Rossi, P. J.The Social Authority of Reason: Kant's Critique, Radical Evil, and the Destiny of Humankind (Albany: State University of New York Press, 2005).
Rousseau, J. J., Discourse on the Origin of Inequality, (trans.), Cress, D. (Indianapolis: Hackett, 1992).
Scanlon, T. M., What We Owe to Each Other (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1998).
Schelling, F. W. J., Of Human Freedom (Chicago: Open Court Publishing Co., 1936).
Schrift, A. D., (ed.), Modernity and the Problem of Evil (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2005).
Schulte, C., Radikal Böse. Die Karriere des Bösen von Kant bis Nietzsche (Munich: W.F. Verlag, 1991).
Silber, J. R., “The Ethical Significance of Kant's Religion,” in Grene, T. M. and Hudson, H. H. (eds.), Religion within the Limits of Reason Alone (New York: Harper & Row, 1960).
Silber, J. “Kant at Auschwitz,” in Funke, G. and Seebohm, T. M. (eds.), Proceedings of the Sixth International Kant Congress (Washington, D.C.: Center for Advanced Research in Phenomenology and University Press of America, 1991).
Silverman, S. W., Because I Remember Terror, Father, I Remember You (Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press, 1996).
Smith, A., The Theory of Moral Sentiments (Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books, 2000).
Staub, E., The Roots of Evil (Cambridge University Press, 1989).
Stern, P., “The Problem of History and Temporality in Kantian Ethics,” Review of Metaphysics, 39 (1986).
Strawson, G., “The Impossibility of Moral Responsibility,” Philosophical Studies, 75 (1994).
Striblen, C., “Guilt, Shame and Shared Responsibility,” Journal of Social Philosophy, 38, 3 (Fall 2007).
Sussman, D., “Kantian Forgiveness,” Kant-Studien, 96 (2005).
Sussman, D.Shame and Punishment in Kant's Doctrine of Right,” The Philosophical Quarterly, 58 (April 2008).
Sussman, D. “On the Supposed Duty of Truthfulness: Kant on Lying in Self-Defense,” in Martin, C. (ed.), The Philosophy of Deception (Oxford University Press, 2009).
Taylor, C., Sources of the Self: The Making of the Modern Identity (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1989).
Timmons, M., “Evil and Imputation in Kant's Ethics,” Jahrbuch fűr Recht und Ethik, 2 (1994).
Vetlesen, A., Evil and Human Agency (Cambridge University Press, 2005).
Watkins, E., Kant and the Metaphysics of Causality (Cambridge University Press, 2005).
Williams, B., Moral Luck (Cambridge University Press, 1981).
Williams, B.Problems of the Self (Cambridge University Press, 1973).
Wilshire, B., Get'Em All! Kill'Em! (Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2006).
Wood, A. W., Kant's Moral Religion (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1970).
Wood, A. W. “Kant's Compatibilism,” in Wood, (ed.), Self and Nature in Kant's Philosophy (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1984).
Wood, A. W. “Kant's Deism,” in Rossi, P. J. and Wreen, M. (eds.), Kant's Philosophy of Religion Reconsidered (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1991).
Wood, A. W.Unsociable Sociability: The Anthropological Basis of Kantian Ethics,” Philosophical Topics, 19 (1991).
Wood, A. W. “Rational Theology, Moral Faith, and Religion,” in Guyer, P. (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to Kant (Cambridge University Press, 1992).
Wood, A. W. “Kant's Historical Materialism,” in Kneller, J. and Axinn, S. (eds.), Autonomy and Community: Readings in Contemporary Kantian Social Philosophy (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1998).
Wood, A. W.Kant's Ethical Thought (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1999).
Wood, A. W.Religion, Ethical Community and the Struggle against Evil,” Faith and Philosophy, 17, 4 (2000).
Yovel, Y., “Bible Interpretation as Philosophical Praxis: A Study of Spinoza and Kant,” Journal of the History of Philosophy, 11 (1973).
Yovel, Y.Kant and the Philosophy of History (Princeton University Press, 1980).


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Book summary page views

Total views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between #date#. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed