Jun 17, 2024  
2017-2018 Undergraduate Catalog 
2017-2018 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

IDS 287 Perspectives on Evil and the Holocaust

3 Credit(s) CS PGR
Focusing on the Holocaust as a model of genocidal intent and a case study to help in understanding the psychology and philosophy of evil, the course will explore the mentality of those who designed and carried out the “final solution” as well as those complicit with them. The ease and efficiency with which the genocide of over six million Jews and other Holocaust victims was accomplished raises profound questions about the human capacity for evil, the causes and means of dehumanization, the limits of obedience to authority and the potential of universal human right legislation. Using the perspectives of psychology, criminal justice, epistemology and post-modern ethics, the course discusses what the Holocaust can teach us about: 1) the psychological factors motivating and facilitating dehumanization and genocide; 2) the means of deterring and sanctioning those who commit racial motivated criminal acts; 3) ways to promote objective truth in historical research about the Holocaust, in light of the “revisionist” historiography of Holocaust deniers; and 4) the role of ethics in defining our interpersonal obligations and humanizing our relationships with others. Three lecture hours per week.