Genocides

Normative Comparative Studies
  • Thomas W. Simon
Chapter

Abstract

We compare for many purposes. We compare two or more items with an eye towards ranking one item over another. We compare an item to another to enhance or reduce the status or value of one of the compared objects. We also have many devices at our disposal for blocking comparisons. ‘You cannot compare apples and oranges.’ Or we declare that one thing is in a class by itself or that all of the items are incomparable as members of a certain set. If acts are intrinsically bad, it would be bizarre to claim that one of those acts is intrinsically worse than another For Aristotle, ‘there are some whose very name implies wickedness, as, for example, malice, shame-lessness, and envy among the emotions, and adultery, theft, and murder among the actions’ (Nichomachean Ethics, Book II, chaper 6). Comparing the wicked emotions to the wicked actions would be tantamount to comparing apples and oranges., and comparisons among the wicked actions seems strange indeed.

Keywords

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Notes

  1. 1.
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  2. 2.
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© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 2001

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  • Thomas W. Simon

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