Systemic Evil and the Limits of Pluralism

Bruce Haddock

in Evil in Contemporary Political Theory

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print October 2011 | ISBN: 9780748641963
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748652860 | DOI:
Systemic Evil and the Limits of Pluralism

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Contingency remains a problem for any secular theory of value. This chapter confronts this issue directly. Pluralism is a fact of life. People have accepted that communities can flourish in a remarkable variety of ways. But it does not follow that human beings can flourish in any and every context. This chapter explains the necessary institutional conditions for human flourishing and, more significantly, to identify conditions in which those conditions are willfully denied. The key is a conception of systemic evil that can be developed as a radical revision of the natural law tradition, which identifies an evil regime with a legal order that systematically denies people the opportunity to plan and lead fulfilling lives.

Keywords: secular theory; human flourishing; systemic evil; natural law tradition; evil regime

Chapter.  7808 words. 

Subjects: Political Theory

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