Kantian Antitheodicy

Philosophical and Literary Varieties

  • Sami Pihlström
  • Sari Kivistö

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-ix
  2. Sami Pihlström, Sari Kivistö
    Pages 1-27
  3. Sami Pihlström, Sari Kivistö
    Pages 29-71
  4. Sami Pihlström, Sari Kivistö
    Pages 73-138
  5. Sami Pihlström, Sari Kivistö
    Pages 187-255
  6. Sami Pihlström, Sari Kivistö
    Pages 257-290
  7. Back Matter
    Pages 291-320

About this book


This book defends antitheodicism, arguing that theodicies, seeking to excuse God for evil and suffering in the world, fail to ethically acknowledge the victims of suffering. The authors argue for this view using literary and philosophical resources, commencing with Immanuel Kant’s 1791 “Theodicy Essay” and its reading of the Book of Job. Three important twentieth century antitheodicist positions are explored, including “Jewish” post-Holocaust ethical antitheodicism, Wittgensteinian antitheodicism exemplified by D.Z. Phillips and pragmatist antitheodicism defended by William James. The authors argue that these approaches to evil and suffering are fundamentally Kantian. Literary works such as Franz Kafka’sThe Trial, Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot, and George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four, are examined in order to crucially advance the philosophical case for antitheodicism.


God evil suffering morality free will

Authors and affiliations

  • Sami Pihlström
    • 1
  • Sari Kivistö
    • 2
  1. 1.University of HelsinkiHelsinkiFinland
  2. 2.University of TampereFinland

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2016
  • Publisher Name Palgrave Macmillan, Cham
  • eBook Packages Religion and Philosophy
  • Print ISBN 978-3-319-40882-8
  • Online ISBN 978-3-319-40883-5
  • Buy this book on publisher's site