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AQ-50953-13

Western Kentucky University Research Foundation (Bowling Green, KY 42101-1016)
Audrey Anton (Project Director: September 2012 to October 2015)
NEH Enduring Questions Course on "Why Are Bad People Bad?"

The development of a general education course to explore the question, Why are bad people bad?

Why do we watch crime shows? Why are we fascinated with war and genocide? Why do moral monsters behave and think the ways that they do? In this course we shall explore these and many other questions related to human failings, bad motives and behaviors, and our curiosity of and obsession with human suffering. It is difficult for those of us who follow a basic moral code to imagine the motives that drove Vlad the Impaler, Jack the Ripper, Josef Mengele, Jeffrey Dahmer, and Joseph Koney to harm people in such grotesque and sadistic ways. On the other hand, those who bully, torture, rape, and kill wonder why everyone doesn’t want to behave as they do.

Project fields:
History of Philosophy

Program:
Enduring Questions: Pilot Course Grants

Division:
Education Programs

Totals:
$23,390 (approved)
$23,130 (awarded)

Grant period:
7/1/2013 – 6/30/2015