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Zachary J. Goldberg
Ludwig Maximilians Universität, München
  1.  62
    Evil and a Worthwhile Life.Zachary J. Goldberg - 2017 - In Reflections on Ethics and Responsibility: Essays in Honor of Peter A. French. Springer. pp. 145-163.
    The concept of evil plays a central role in many of Peter French’s publications. He defines evil as “a human action that jeopardizes another person’s (or group’s) aspirations to live a worthwhile life (or lives) by the willful infliction of undeserved harm on that person(s)” (French 2011, 61, 95). Inspired by Harry Frankfurt’s work on the importance of what we care about, French argues that “the life a person leads is worthwhile if what he or she really gives a damn (...)
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  2.  45
    Can Kant’s Theory of Radical Evil Be Saved?Zachary J. Goldberg - 2017 - Kantian Review 22 (3):395-419.
    In this article, I assess three contemporary criticisms levelled at Kant’s theory of evil in order to evaluate whether his theory can be saved. Critics argue that Kant does not adequately distinguish between evil and mundane wrongdoing, making his use of the term ‘evil’ emotional hyperbole; by defining evil as the subordination of the moral law to self-love his analysis is seemingly overly simplistic and empirically false; and by focusing solely on the moral character of the perpetrator of evil, Kant’s (...)
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  3.  23
    Evil, "Evil", and Taking Responsibility.Zachary J. Goldberg - 2016 - In Birgit Recki (ed.), Wozu ist das Böse gut? Mentis.
    This essay will address the question for what good or purpose is evil. First, an examination of the use-mention distinction between evil and “evil” produces two distinct questions: what good is the presence of evil in the world, and what good is the concept of evil as part of our ethical vocabulary describing human interaction. By severing all logically necessary connections between evil and greater goods, we discover that the answer to the first question—what good is evil in the world—is (...)
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  4.  14
    Midwest Studies in Philosophy: The Concept of Evil.Peter A. French & Zachary J. Goldberg - 2012 - Wiley-Blackwell.
    __The Concept of Evil__ is dedicated to the analysis of the concept of evil. The term "evil" is used widely in ordinary language and yet philosophers have disagreed on what, if anything, distinguishes an evil act from a wrong act or an evil person from a bad one. Is "evil" a distinct and important moral category? Which agents and acts can and should be classified as "evil"? In which areas of practice does evil arise? These questions indicate three essential categories (...)
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  5.  31
    A Relational Approach to Evil Action: Vulnerability and its Exploitation.Zachary J. Goldberg - 2019 - Journal of Value Inquiry 53 (1):33-53.
    In this article I seek a more complete understanding of evil action. To this end, in the first half of the article I assess the conceptual strengths and weaknesses of the most compelling theories of evil action found in the contemporary philosophical literature. I conclude that the theories that fall under the category I call ‘‘Nuanced Harm Accounts’’ successfully identify the necessary and sufficient conditions of the concept. However, necessary and sufficient conditions are not coextensive with significant features, and Nuanced (...)
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  6.  73
    From Enlightenment to Receptivity: Rethinking Our Values. [REVIEW]Zachary J. Goldberg - 2014 - Philosophical Quarterly 64 (255):347-349.
  7.  27
    Group Agency: The Possibility, Design, and Status of Corporate Agents. [REVIEW]Zachary J. Goldberg - 2015 - Philosophical Quarterly 65 (259):280-282.
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  8. Kierkegaard. [REVIEW]Zachary J. Goldberg - 2011 - Philosophical Forum 42 (3):321-321.
    This is a review of Terence Irwin's chapter on Kierkegaard in his The Development of Ethics.
     
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  9.  15
    Moral Innocence as Illusion and Inability.Zachary J. Goldberg - 2015 - Philosophia 43 (2):355-366.
    The concept of moral innocence is frequently referenced in popular culture, ordinary language, literature, religious doctrine, and psychology. The morally innocent are often thought to be morally pure, incapable of wrongdoing, ignorant of morality, resistant to sin, or even saintly. In spite of, or perhaps because of this frequency of use the characterization of moral innocence continues to have varying connotations. As a result, the concept is often used without sufficient heed given to some of its most salient attributes, especially (...)
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  10.  18
    Moral Innocence as the Negative Counterpart to Moral Maturity.Zachary J. Goldberg - 2016 - In Carl E. Findley Elizabeth S. Dodd (ed.), Innocence Uncovered: Literary and Theological Perspectives. Routledge. pp. 167-182.
    Establishing a precise definition of moral innocence is a difficult task. Ordinarily philosophers explore the necessary and sufficient conditions of a term or concept in order to determine its meaning. Doing so with “moral innocence” proves difficult because the concept is mutable. The term is used in varying contexts to refer to ignorance, naiveté, sexual inexperience, legal and moral culpability, noncombatants in war, and moral purity. For our present purposes, we can exclude the contexts of law and war because they (...)
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  11.  16
    Reflections on Ethics and Responsibility: Essays in Honor of Peter A. French.Zachary J. Goldberg (ed.) - 2017 - Springer.
    The original essays in this book address the influential writings of Peter A. French on the nature of responsibility, ethics, and moral practices. French’s contributions to a wide spectrum of philosophical discussions have made him a dominant figure in the fields of normative ethics, meta-ethics, applied ethics, as well as legal and political philosophy. Many of French’s deepest insights come from identifying and exploring the scope and nature of moral responsibility and human agency as they appear in actual events, real (...)
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  12. The Inevitability of Evil and Moral Tragedy.Zachary J. Goldberg - 2016 - In Claudio V. Zanini & Lima Bhuiyan (eds.), This Thing of Darkness: Shedding Light on Evil. Interdisciplinary Press. pp. 47-58.
    Although Greek virtue theory, Kantian ethics, and utilitarianism contend that evil and moral tragedy can be avoided, my paper will argue that our recognition of their inevitability provides the only means toward taking full moral responsibility for one’s agency. It is especially tragic to observe that wrongdoing is often inescapable. An agent may have overriding moral reasons to pursue one course of action over another, and yet in making the morally best choice the individual nevertheless transgresses a moral value. My (...)
     
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  13.  42
    Van Inwagen’s Two Failed Arguments for the Belief in Freedom.Zachary J. Goldberg - 2010 - Southwest Philosophy Review 26 (1):43-50.
    In chapter 6 of An Essay on Free Will Peter van Inwagen presents an influential argument that we are justified in believing we are free. He does so by claiming that the determinist’s objection to the argument for the belief in freedom fails in the exact same way that the skeptic’s argument fails to prove that none of our empirical beliefs are justified. I show that this strategy to defend the belief in freedom fails due to a disanalogy. The failure (...)
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  14.  18
    Was ist eine böse Handlung?Zachary J. Goldberg - 2019 - Deutsche Zeitschrift für Philosophie 66 (6):764-787.
    What is the nature of evil action? My thesis is that perpetrators and victims of evil inhabit an asymmetrical relation of power; the strength of the more powerful party lies in its ability to exploit the other’s fundamental vulnerability, and the weaker party is vulnerable precisely insofar as it is directly dependent on the more powerful party for the satisfaction of its fundamental needs. The fundamental vulnerabilities that are exploited correspond to features essential to our humanity, moral personhood, and individuality. (...)
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  15.  5
    The Routledge International Handbook of Perpetrator Studies.Suzanne C. Knittel & Zachary J. Goldberg (eds.) - forthcoming
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