What We Call Evil

Ulla Puggaard - Kafka the Absurd

What happens when we qualify an action or someone as being evil? What causes this moral judgment, and what effects may this judgment have?

When we try to describe, understand and respond to various atrocities such as rapes, genocides, or serial killings, we often use the word "evil". But a wide range of questions arise when we try to think critically about this term.

Nietzsche and Arendt embody a remarkable skepticism about the use of the term evil, and what it traditionally means/meant. Both extremely sensitive to the historical and social context that the word carries, they emphasize the hidden motives behind using it to qualify a certain group of people. Each in a very different way, they warn us against the dangers of leaving unquestioned the nature and concept of evil.

In this Olio we will begin a discussion about the concept of evil, its relativity, and the diversity of feelings that it inspires in us, such as fear, disgust, shame, spite, hate, or compassion. Together, along with Nietzsche and Arendt, we will try to analyze part of the complexity of this concept, and the symbolic representations that it may carry.






Location: Strand Bookstore

828 Broadway, New York, NY 10003

The Rare Book Room at Strand Bookstore boasts an elegant venue for our Friday night residency.




Interdisciplinary Learning with the Best Professors


Think Olio is not about learning a new skill or adding credentials to your resume. It is about getting together with other people and expanding our worldview. It exists as a conduit for fruitful discussions, a dissent from the regurgitation of facts, and an embrace of new perspectives.


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Other upcoming Olios


Sep 17

Our Pornographic Education

Taught by Kim Nguyen
7:30 p.m. at Crystal Lake

Sign Up - $15

Sep 18

Mediated Intimacy: The Dating App Landscape

Taught by Pani Farvid
7 p.m. at Living Room

Sign Up - $15

Sep 19

* Sold Out * OlioTrip | Cienfuegos, Cuba

Taught by Teresita Levy
10 a.m. at Cienfuegos, Cuba

Sign Up - $

Sep 23

New York, The Neoliberal City

Taught by Lauren Hudson
7:30 p.m. at The Old Stone House

Sign Up - $15

Sep 26

Living Room Salon | 'Dirty Computers', Voice & Visibility

Taught by Kashema Hutchinson
8 p.m. at Living Room

Sign Up - $15

Sep 29

Olio FieldTrip | Skateboarding and Modern Art

Taught by Ted Barrow
1 p.m. at Living Room

Sign Up - $30

Oct 4

Modern Privacy: Reclaiming Our Self Narratives

Taught by Lawrence Cappello
7 p.m. at Strand Bookstore

Sign Up - $20

Oct 15

Olio Seminar | Kafka will Ruin Your Life and Make You Laugh About it

Taught by Geoff Klock
7:30 p.m. at Strong Rope Brewery

Sign Up - $60

Oct 22

The Fear of Leisure

Taught by Jeanne Proust
7:30 p.m. at Threes Brewing // Greenpoint

Sign Up - $15


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