Tom 11 Nr 1 (2016)

Unde malum? John Gray i prawda o złu

Beata Polanowska - Sygulska

Strony: 35 - 50



The article tackles the disputable problem of the sources of evil, taking as the starting point John Gray’s renowned essay: “The truth about evil”, published in The Guardian in October 2014. Research into Gray’s view of evil is carried out in a broad polemical context. In particular, special consideration is given to the standpoints of S. Milgram, Ph. Zimbardo and Z. Bauman, from which Gray thoroughly abstracts. A thesis is put forward that Gray’s critical opinion of H. Arendt’s concept of banality of evil follows from his leaving out of consideration Milgram’s and Zimbardo’s experiments. A comparison of Gray’s and Bauman’s views of evil is drawn and a striking similarity between them is pointed out. The following conclusions are reached: contrary to Gray human cruelty can have not only individual, but also social reasons; the experience of evil is not universal; neuroscience may be helpless in confrontation with some criminal cultural practices, e.g. honour killings.