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The Asymmetry of Good and Evil

Pettit, Philip


We do good by bringing about welcome consequences, particularly disposition-dependent ones. Thus we give respect by acting out of the beneficent disposition not to interfere in one another's personal choices. But while we do evil by bringing about unwelcome consequences, these are rarely disposition-dependent: they do not require that we act out of a maleficent disposition or that we conform to standards of malice in our behavior. This observation helps to explain the Knobe effect whereby we...[Show more]

CollectionsANU Research Publications
Date published: 2015
Type: Book chapter
Book Title: Oxford Studies in Normative Ethics
DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198744665.003.0002


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