Radical Evil: A Philosophical Interrogation

Let me get a gripe out of the way before I begin to review seriously this work by a
distinguished contemporary philosopher. Notice the sub-title: an ‘interrogation.’ Is
anyone out there as tired as I am of this term? It is by now both clichéd and annoying,
conjuring up the image of a poor trembling text in the interrogation room without
benefit of counsel, bright lights glaring on its cover, as a couple of policemen
turn pages roughly, shouting aggressive questions and hurling accusations. Can
we not be gentler with (most) texts and interpret them, or engage in the sort of
conversation with them that Michael Oakeshott suggested so eloquently? I suspect
that Professor Bernstein is unaware of how frequently he ‘interrogates,’ salting his
pages, at times, with more than one ‘interrogation’ per page. Can we not get off this
prosecutorial binge and just read the bloody book!

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