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wickedness


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The Socratic thesis or paradox that nobody does wrong willingly is challenged by wickedness, which in some moral systems is universal (see original sin), and in others at least occasional. Wickedness is often assimilated to loss of control (see akrasia), the idea being that full control would put reason back in charge of any unruly or base passions. A 20th-century reversal of this, with roots in de Sade and Nietzsche, romantically elevates the freedom that is supposed to come from deliberately flouting (transcending) normal ethics, thought of as an external system of restraints on conduct.

Subjects: Philosophy.


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