Final Study Notes - Philosophical Responses to the...

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Philosophical Responses to the Holocaust: Final Study Notes Theodor Adorno: - psychological reduction - Nazis were an unusual collection of diseases personalities - the inmates took over the asylum - creator of the “authoritarian personality” Bauman: Inhumanity as a Function of Social Distance - separation from victims makes cruelty easier - the perpetrator does not witness the outcome of his deeds Complicity after one's own act - it is hard for people to stop doing something once they started - like a bog : the more one acts the harder it is to get out - dif±cult to draw a line between his own past actions and the next action - Admitting that the next step is wrong implies that the last step was wrong , and thus any attempt to do what is right means that you have already done something wrong Bureaucratic Organization - the more rational is the organization of action, the easier it is to cause suffering - there is a ' shrinking probability ' that the moral oddity of an action will be discovered - this is because one's actions are ordered by one person and carried out by another and that the focus of action is on technical grounds Free ²oating responsibility - giving one the right to demand things of others, allows the subject to be free of moral responsibility - this shifts the responsibility from one person to another - when spread over a system , it becomes freestanding , where as each person can point to another as being responsible Pluralism of power and power of conscience - readiness to act against one's own judgment is the result of exposure to a single- minded, monopolistic authority - Bauman concludes that pluralism is thus the best preventative measure against normal people engaging in abnormal behavior
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The Social nature of Evil - cruelty correlates more with patterns of social interaction than it does with personality features or modes of behavior of an individual - these mechanisms lead to the Holocaust Society as a factory of morality - morality comes from society - immoral behavior is always pre social - society can decide the content of moral activity - moral behavior equates to obedience and conformity The Challenge of the Holocaust - there arises a problem of a moral responsibility to resist socialization - everything that society says can’t be okay : we need some grounds on which to condemn war criminals - the human ability to tell right from wrong must be grounded in something other than the conscious collective of society - the process of socialization consists of the manipulation of moral activity , not in its production Pre-Societal sources of morality - Being responsible for another is exactly what it means to be a human subject - As such, the morality of any action is the primary struggle of inter subjective relations Proximity and Suppression of Moral Responsibility - with distance comes a loss of subjectivity , a transformation of a person into an object - Proximity is responsibility - when an individual is placed outside of our '
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Final Study Notes - Philosophical Responses to the...

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