The Will to Deviance

  • Jeffrie G. Murphy
Part of the Philosophical Studies Series book series (PSSP, volume 54)


In his novella Billy Budd, Herman Melville struggles to explain the malicious evil present in his character John Claggart—the master-at-arms who sets in motion the chain of events that ultimately destroys the innocent and beautiful Billy. Despairing of gaining understanding either through common sense or ordinary science, Melville finally lights on the concept of “natural depravity “—a concept that transcends our ordinary secular consciousness of ordinary badness and engages a perspective (one of extraordinary evil, seductive sin, and self-chosen loathsomeness) that seems mythic and theological.


Temporal Lobe Epilepsy Violent Crime Crime Control Boot Camp Causal History 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jeffrie G. Murphy
    • 1
  1. 1.College of LawArizona State UniversityTempeUSA

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