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Can an individual, alone, really be evil?

  • 2014-01-08
  • By TBT staff

VILNIUS - The Institute of Art and Ideas is a London-based organization, which hold philosophy and music festivals each summer in the Welsh countryside. Hundreds of deep thinkers flock to a quiet village to see some of the most radical minds of our time go head-to-head in philosophical, political and scientific debate. Amongst these intellectual heavyweights is Leonidas Donskis, a Lithuanian politician and historian of ideas (and a TBT columnist), highly lauded for his work in the European Parliament and as an honorary scholar at Tallinn University.

In the debate ‘A touch of evil,’ Donskis debates whether it may be an error to assume we should pursue ‘goodness.’ He argues that the individual must learn that only they are responsible for the moral quality of their actions. “After Dostoevsky, after Orwell, it is obvious that an individual can choose either good or evil,” remarks Donskis in response to another panelist who claims that it is only within a collective of people that evil can truly reside.

The full debate is now, for the first time, available for free online viewing at the Institute of Art and Idea’s Web site, /goto/iai.tv/video/a-touch-of-evil.

There are many more talks available once you have whet your philosophical appetite!