Shall we speak of others as evil, or see them through the lens of analysis? That is a very pressing political question for today. 

A distinction between morality, especially of a binary type, and the science of pathology is crucial for conciliation. And without the work of analysis there is neither remedy nor democracy. To confuse the two is to commit what philosophy terms a “category mistake.”

If a good-versus-evil morality is the basis of analysis, little is left other than to destroy the enemy. Judgment is left to the blindness of bias, granting more power to malice than it deserves. It is easy to condemn, but extremely difficult to understand.

In order to understand, the intellect creates categories and gives birth to science. Prior to diagnosis, judgment is to be based upon analysis, which requires a degree of subjective reserve. Analysis is made possible by use of carefully constructed instruments called syndromes, such as “narcissist” and “authoritarian.” While not absolute or perfect, these tools are far preferable to the empty rhetoric of name-calling.

Anyone can throw the derogatory bomb of “radical leftist” or “socialist.” It takes some intellectual diligence to stipulate exactly what that means and how it assists in analytic understanding. The formula seems to be: The emptier the head, the more vacuous and vile the rhetoric.

The question remains: Is President Donald Trump evil, or simply pathological? Or does that beg the question?

“Evil” has no remedial; “pathology” is more logical.

Eugene Clemens

Elizabethtown

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