CFP: Special Issue of Arkete "Being and Evil"

Submission deadline: October 31, 2018

Topic areas


Arkete welcomes submissions for a special issue on “Being and Evil”. Some philosophers, for example S. Augustine, maintain that evil does not have its own reality, but it is only the lack of good. Therefore, the concept of evil coincides with non-being, precisely because in itself it does not exist, but exists only if it is related to the good. However, as known, ‘evil’ has a very wide range of definitions. So we can outline at least four main types of evil:

1.       Moral or ethical evil, which covers the willful physical or psychological acts of human beings (such as murder, rape, genocide, war,  etc.);

2.       Physical evil, which means bodily pain  inflicted to other humans (fear, illness, grief, etc.);

3.       Natural evil, which refers to natural disasters (such as floods, earthquakes, volcano eruptions, tsunami, etc.)

4.       Metaphysical evil, which is configured, on one side, as a deprivation of being or as non-being  and, on the other, the action of a superhuman entity.

Evil In the broad sense, which includes the four types, tends to be the evil conceived in theological contexts, such as in discussions of the problem of evil. The problem of evil is the problem of accounting for evil in a world created by an all-powerful, all-knowing, all-good God. It seems that if the creator has these attributes, there would be no evil in the world. But there is evil in the world, thus, someone can say that an all-powerful, all-knowing, all-good creator does not exist.

Some of the main issues discussed by philosophers on the topic of evil have been: Should we use the term ‘evil’ in our moral, political, and legal discourse and thinking, or is evil an out-dated or empty concept which should be abandoned? What is the relationship between evil and other moral concepts such as badness and wrongdoing? What are the necessary and sufficient conditions for evil action? Does Evil belong only to humans or to any other living beings and  even the Being itself? Does evil belong only to humans or other living beings and even to Being itself?

Furthermore, psychiatrists and neuroscientists are making extraordinary advances in understanding the psychopathic or sociopathic mind, a mind that lacks empathy, compassion, fear, or remorse. In some of the most research, advanced brain-imaging techniques are revealing that certain sections of psychopaths’ brains seem to be misfiring. Thus, someone can state that evil, or evil action, could have neurophysiological causes. If many  humans do evil actions, what ‘s wrong with their brain?

This issue of Arkete aims to discuss  different aspects of the main subject, Being and Evil, from different perspectives. Possible topics:

- Evil as a property of Being

- Evil as the Absence of Good

- Evil as Non-Being

- Evil, Supernatural and God

- Evil and Personal Responsibility

- Evil and  Human Brain

- Evil and Free Will

- Individual and Collective Evil

- Evil and Love

This simple list  of topics is  not exhaustive. So submissions could add other topics related to the main theme Being and Evil.


Papers, which will be accepted in both English and Italian, should not exceed 40,000 characters (including notes and spaces). Each submission should include a separate title page containing the author(s) contact details, a brief CV, an abstract (max 15 rows) and a list of five keywords. All papers will be subject to double-blind peer-review. 

Papers should be submitted to: [email protected]; [email protected]

For further details on how to prepare the manuscripts, please follow the author guidelines available on the journal’s website:

The deadline for submissions is October 30,  2018.


Mariano Bianca (University of Siena) and Paolo Piccari (University of Siena)

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