Heythrop College Publications

Lacewing, Michael (2009) The Psychology of Evil: a Contribution from Psychoanalysis. In: Tabensky, Pedro Alexis, (ed.) The Positive Function of Evil. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan . [Book section]

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    It has often been noted that evil – by which I mean evil in human motivation and action – is difficult to understand. We find it hard to make sense of what ‘drives’ a person to commit evil. This is not because we cannot recognise or identify with some aspect of the psychology of evil; we all experience feelings of envy, spite, cruelty, and hatred. But somehow this shared experience can seem insufficient, and we are left at a loss as to how such natural, universal human motivations could have resulted in this. I argue that the ‘traditional’ picture of the psychology of evil is explanatorily inadequate, and develop a richer account drawing on resources drawn from psychoanalytic theory.

    Item Type: Book section
    Department: Philosophy
    Depositing User: Dr Michael Lacewing
    Date Deposited: 03 Nov 2010 14:57
    Last Modified: 08 Nov 2011 11:59
    URI: http://publications.heythrop.ac.uk/id/eprint/483

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