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Description: he Routledge Handbook of the Philosophy of Evil: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover


Just published May 2019.   The Routledge Handbook of the Philosophy of Evil  (Eds. Thomas Nys and Stephen de Wijze)

Why ought we concern ourselves with understanding a concept of evil? It is an elusive and politically charged concept, which critics argue has no explanatory power and is a relic of a superstitious and primitive religious past. Yet its widespread use persists today: we find it invoked by politicians, judges, journalists, and many others to express the view that certain actions, persons, institutions, or ideologies are not just morally problematic but require a special signifier to mark them out from the ordinary and commonplace. Therefore, the question of what a concept of evil could mean and how it fits into our moral vocabulary remains an important and pressing concern.

The Routledge Handbook of the Philosophy of Evil provides an outstanding overview and exploration of these issues and more, bringing together an international team of scholars working on the concept of evil. Its 27 chapters cover the crucial discussions and arguments, both historical and contemporary, that are needed to properly understand the historical development and complexity of the concept of evil. The Handbook is divided into three parts:

The Routledge Handbook of the Philosophy of Evil is essential reading for students and researchers in the fields of ethics and philosophy of psychology. It also provides important insights and background for anyone exploring the concept of evil in related subjects such as literature, politics, and religion.




Thinking Towards Humanity: Themes from Norman Geras (edited by Stephen de Wijze and Eve Garrard)

How should we respond to the inhumanity that suffused the twentieth Century and continues in the present one? Has there been an adequate treatment of this issue by the political left? Questions such as these are treated in this, the first scholarly book to combine academic and blogging approaches to some of the major political issues of the day. It does this by focusing on the work of Norman Geras – Marxist, political philosopher and blogger – and developing the central themes of his work such as crimes against humanity, the Holocaust, Marxism, and the means/ends problem in politics. It contains contributions by famous political philosophers such as Michael Walzer, Hillel Steiner and David McLennan, and bloggers and journalists such as David Aaronovitch, Nick Cohen and Ophelia Benson. The book contains a unique response by Geras in which he draws together the various themes it covers. It will be of interest to all who are concerned with these pressing political issues of our time. The book will be particularly relevant for those with an academic or general interest in politics, philosophy, sociology, genocide studies, applied ethics, international relations and law. It will also be of interest to bloggers and all those who regard new technology as having significant implications for public debate on these issues.


Hillel Steiner and the Anatomy of Justice: Themes and Challenges (Eds.)  Stephen de Wijze, Matthew H. Kramer and Ian Carter.


Throughout the English-speaking world, and in the many other countries where analytic philosophy is studied, Hillel Steiner is esteemed as one of the foremost contemporary political philosophers. This volume is designed as a festschrift for Steiner and as an important collection of philosophical essays in its own right. The editors have assembled a roster of highly distinguished international contributors, all of whom are eager to pay tribute to Steiner by focusing on topics on which he himself has concentrated. Some of the contributors engage directly with Steiner's work, whereas others focus not directly on his writings but instead grapple with issues that have figured prominently therein. Each essay seeks to advance the debates in which Steiner himself has so notably participated. The study concludes with a response by Steiner himself.




I was co-editor of Representation (with Andrew Russell) (2007-2014)  This is a journal of long standing repute.  It has been publishing since 1960 and has a general interest in all matters relating the theme of representative democracy and to this end it has established itself as a recognised journal of record and comment both in the UK and internationally.  We welcome papers on ideas of representation that are not parliamentary and recently expanded the journal’s remit to include normative concepts of democracy and representation.

Bob Goodin of ANU: ‘Representation is truly one of the premier journals of empirical democratic theory’


PhD Students

I presently supervise the following PhD student:

Anh Le – Towards a theory of Jus Ad Vim

Recently completed PhDs

Jamie Henson – Remorse, Punishment and its place in the Legal System (Viva 2017)

Wen-Chin  Lung – The paradox of humanitarian aid.(Viva 2017)

James Shaw – Madison, Constant and the Theory and Establishment of Liberal Republican Constitutional Neutrality (Viva 2016)

Garvan Walshe – Green Libertarianism: Freedom and Ecology (Viva 2015)

Stephen Hood – Democratic theory and representation (Viva 2013)

Chris Mills - The interplay between morality and democracy, focusing on the balance between perfectionist enlightened rule and neutral political concerns (Viva 2013)

Stephen Cooke – The Ethics of Animal Liberation. (Viva 2012)

Rebecca Reilly-Cooper - Contemporary democratic theory and its relationship to democratic practice. In particular, the ways in which democratic theory fails to attend to the problem of the exclusion of minority group voices from political debate and deliberation.  (Viva 2010)

Tom Goodwin - Dirty Hands: Inescapable Wrongdoing in Public and Private Life? (Viva 2009)

Charlie Robinson - Deliberative Democracy and Social Justice.  (Viva 2007)

Mihaela Georgieva - Political Constructivism and the Liberal Project of Public Justification (Viva 2007)

Andrew Shorten - Treating Cultural Commitments Fairly: A Cosmopolitan Account of Multicultural Justice (Completed 2005) Winner of the Political Studies Association Sir Ernest Barker Prize for Best Political Theory Thesis 2005

 My personal record

Full name:   Stephen de Wijze




1998   PhD (University of Sheffield)

1990   MA - Philosophy (Stanford University)

1986   BA(Hons) Philosophy (Rhodes University)

1985   BA (University of South Africa - UNISA) - Majors: Philosophy & Psychology

1982   University Education Diploma (UED) (Rhodes University

1981   Bachelor of Commerce (B Comm) (Rhodes University) - Majors: Accountancy, Cost and Management Accountancy and Mercantile Law


Qualifications - academic and professional


Academic:      B.Comm (Rhodes); BA (UNISA) BA Hons (Rhodes University); MA (Stanford University); Ph.D (University of Sheffield).

Professional:   University Education Diploma (UED) (Rhodes University).       


Previous employment and appointments


1995       University of Sheffield - Department of Philosophy (part-time lecturer)

1991-4    Rhodes University - Department of Philosophy (permanent lecturer)   

1990-1    Rhodes University - Academic Support Programme (fixed-term lecturer)

1987-9    Rhodes University - Education Department (fixed-term lecturer)   


Present appointment


Senior Lecturer in Political Theory

•  Appointed temporary lecturer January 1998

•  Appointed to permanent lectureship September 2001

Memberships of academic and professional bodies


Political Studies Association (PSA)

Awards, scholarships and bursaries


1995   Tindall Endowed Research Scholarship (University of Sheffield, UK)

1988   Fulbright Scholarship (taken up at Stanford University, USA)

1987   Master's and Doctorate Degree Scholarship (Rhodes University, South Africa); Academic Colours (Rhodes University)

1986   Merit Award (University of South Africa); Honours Exhibition Award (University of South Africa); Graduate Assistant Bursary (Rhodes University) Honours Bursary (Human Sciences Research Council of South Africa); D.C.S. Oosthuizen Memorial Prize - Best Philosophy Student (Rhodes University)





Academic Journal Papers


·      ‘Small-scale evil’ in Journal of Value InquiryVol. 52 Issue 1, March 2018: 25–35.52(1): 25-35.

·      ‘Citizen guilt: moral complicity and the problem of democratic dirty hands’ in The Monist, Vol. 101, Issue 2, 1 April 2018: 129–149.

·      ‘Interrogating the ‘Ticking Bomb Scenario’: Reassessing the thought experiment’ in The International Journal of Applied Ethics (co-authored with Simon Beck), 29 (1):53-70 (2015)  (DOI 10.5840/ijap201561741)

·      ‘Political Accountability and Moral Pollution: Defending Democratic Dirty Hands’ in Biblioteca della libertà, Anno XLIX, n. 209, gennaio-aprile (2014) 

·      ‘Searching for the mark of Cain – Barry’s exploration of Evil Persons’ Journal of Value Inquiry, 50 (2), (2014) 463-471.

·     Punishing dirty hands - three justifications in Ethical Theory and Moral Practice (ETMP) 2012.  Available at

·     ‘The challenge of a moral politics: Mendus and Coady on politics, integrity and ‘dirty hands’’  Res Publica 2011

·       ‘Bellamy on Dirty Hands and Lesser Evils:  A Response’ in British Journal of Politics and International Relations  (BJPIR) Vol.11, No. 3, 2009: 529-540 (Co-authored with Tom Goodwin)

·       ‘Shamanistic Incantations? Rawls, Reasonableness and Secular Fundamentalism’ in Politics and Ethics Review 3(1) 2007:109-128.

·       ‘Tragic-Remorse - The Anguish of Dirty Hands’ in Ethical Theory and Moral Practice (ETMP), 7, 2004: 453-471.

·       ‘Exploring our moral emotions: the difficult case of ‘dirty hands’’ in Philosophical Papers, Special Issue, Vol. 33, No.2, 2004: 15-24.

·       ‘Democracy, trust and the problem of dirty hands’ in Philosophy in the Contemporary World, Issue 10:1, Spring-Summer, 2003 ‘Special Issue- Fiduciary Ethics’: 37-42.

·       ‘Complexity, relevance and character: Problems with teaching the ad hominem fallacy’ in Educational Philosophy and Theory (EPAT) Vol. 35, No.1 (2003):  31-56.

·        Defining Evil - Insights from the problem of “dirty hands”’in The Monist, Volume 85, No. 2,(2002), 210-238.

·       ‘The Political Limits of Reasonableness’ in Imprints, Vol. 6, no. 2 (2002): 171-186.

·       ‘Machiavellian Thoughts on Mbeki: Between Political Cynicism & Moral Naivety’ in Australian Journal of Professional and Applied Ethics (AJPAE), Vol.2, No.1, (2000): 61-70.

·       ‘The family and political justice - the case for political liberalisms’ in The Journal of Ethics, Vol.4, No.3, (July 2000): 257-281.

·       South Africa and the Prospect of Political Liberalism’, in Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy (CRISPP), Vol. 2, No. 3, (Autumn 1999): 48-80.

·       ‘Rawls and Civic Education’ in Cogito, Vol. 13, No. 2 (1999): 87-93.

·       ‘Teaching critical reasoning in South Africa’, in Informal Logic, Vol. 18, No.1, (1996): 57-82.

·       ‘The real problem of dirty hands - reply to Kai Nielsen’ in South African Journal of Philosophy, 15 (4), (1996): 149-151.

·       ‘Towards a Political Ethic: Exploring the boundaries of a moral politics’, in Philosophical Papers, Vol. XXIII , No. 3. (1994): 191-215.

·       ‘Dirty hands - doing wrong to do right’ in South African Journal of Philosophy, 13 (1) (1994): 27-33.


Edited Books

·      The Routledge Handbook on Evil  (Thomas Nys and Stephen de Wijze eds.) Routledge 2019.

·      Thinking Towards Humanity: themes from Norman Geras (Stephen de Wijze and Eve Garrard eds.) MUP 2012.

·      Hillel Steiner and the Anatomy of Justice (Stephen de Wijze, Matthew Kramer, and Ian Carter eds.) Routledge, 2009.


Book Chapters



·       ‘Defining the concept of evil: Insights from our pre-cognitive responses’ in The Routledge Handbook on the Philosophy of Evil (Routledge 2019).

·       ‘Political Evil: Warping the Moral Landscape’ in Moral Evil in Practical Ethics  (eds. Roger Crisp and Sholmit Harrosh.)  Routledge 2019.

·       ‘The Means/Ends Problem in Politics’ in Philosophy and Politics: Methods, Tools and Topics  Antonella Besussi (ed.) 2012  Ashgate Publishers

·       ‘Resistance Beyond the Moral Boundary: Some Thoughts on the Limits of Dirty Hands’ in Thinking Towards Humanity ed. de Wijze and Garrard, 2012.

·       ‘Recalibrating Steiner on Evil’ in de Wijze, Kramer and Carter (eds.) Hillel and the Anatomy of Justice 2009.

·       ‘Between Hero and Villain: Jack Bauer and the Problem of ‘Dirty Hands’’ in 24 and Philosophy: The World According to Jack, (eds. Jennifer Hart Weed, Richard Brian Davis and Ronald Weed), The Blackwell Philosophy and Pop Culture Series, 2008.

·       ‘Dirty Hands: Doing Wrong to Do Right’ in Politics and Morality Igor Primoratz (ed.) Ontos Verlag, Frankfurt am Main, 2006 (reprint of journal article).

·       ‘Equality’ in Political Concepts: A Reader and a Guide (ed. Iain Mackenzie) Edinburgh University Press., 2005

·       ‘Towards a political ethic: exploring the boundaries of a moral politics’ in Ruth Chadwick and Doris Schroeder (eds.) Applied Ethics - Critical Concepts in Philosophy, Volume VI, Politics, Routledge, 2002. (reprint of journal article)

·       ‘Reasonableness, pluralism and democracy: a pragmatic approach’, in G. Calder, E. Garrett, and J. Shannon (eds.), Liberalism and Social Justice: International Perspectives, Ashgate Publishers, Spring 2000. 



Review Articles

·       Punishing ‘Dirty Hands’ – Insights from Zaibert’s Rethinking Punishment in C4EJOURNAL  PERSPECTIVES ON ETHICS.   In the symposium on Leo Zaibert, Rethinking Punishment [June 2018]  url: .  Zaibert’s reply is here:

·       ‘Patching Holes in a Sinking Ship: ‘Democratic Deliberation Within’, a review of Robert E. Goodin, Reflective Democracy (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003) in European Journal of Philosophy, 15, April 2007: 129-136.

·       ‘Torture and Liberalism’ in Democratiya (7) Winter 2006.   

·       ‘Moral contractualism comes of age’ - a review essay of  T. M. Scanlon, What We Owe to Each Other (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1998), in Res Publica, 7 (2001): 187-194.  (co-authored with Jonathan Hughes)


Refereed Publications in conference proceedings


·            ‘Civility Within Conflict – Managing Religious Pluralism’ in Religious Pluralism: A Resource Book Eds Aurelia Bardon, Maria Birnbaum, Lois Lee and Kristina Stoeckl, European University Institute 2015. (Co-authored with Garvan Walshe) Website:

·            ‘Reasonableness, pluralism and justice: a pragmatic approach’ at conference entitled The Liberal Order: The Future for Social Justice? (1999): 84-93.

·            ‘Political Liberalism and the New South Africa’ in Current Issues in Political Philosophy - Justice and Welfare in Society and World Order, Papers of the 19th International Wittgenstein Symposium, (eds.) Peter Koller and Klaus Puhl, (August 1996): 421-426.

 Book Reviews


·       Kymlicka, Will. Contemporary Political Philosophy, Knowles, Dudley. Political Philosophy and  Cohen, Martin. Political Philosophy from Plato to Mao for Times Higher Education Supplement (THES) (30 November 2001)     

·       Richard Bellamy, Liberalism and Pluralism: Towards a Politics of Compromise for Ethics Volume 112, No. 2,  January 2002

·       Roberto Alejandro, The Limits of Rawlsian Justice (The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1998) in Political Studies, Vol.48, No.1, March 2000.

·       Charles Spinosa, Fernando Flores and Hubert L. Dreyfus, Disclosing New Worlds: Entrepreneurship, Democratic Action and the Cultivation of Solidarity (Cambridge MA., The MIT Press, 1997) in Political Studies, Vol. 47, No. 5, December 1999.

·       Patricia J. Mills (ed.), Feminist Interpretations of G.W.F. Hegel, (Pennsylvania State University Press, 1996) in Bulletin of the Hegel Society of  Great Britain, No. 36, (Autumn/Winter, 1997).


Book Notes


·       Matt Matravers (ed.) Scanlon and Contractualism (London: Frank Cass 2003) in Political Studies Review, Vol 3, Issue 1, 2005

·       Ian Shapiro The State of Democratic Theory (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2003) in in Political Studies Review Vol 3, Issue 1, 2005.

·       Chandran Kukathas  The Liberal Archipelago: A Theory of Diversity and Freedom, (Oxford University Press 2003) in Political Studies Review, Volume 2, Issue 2, 2004.

·       Trudy Govier  A Delicate Balance: what philosophy can tell us about terrorism. (Boulder CO: Westview Press 2002) in Political Studies Review, Volume 2, Issue 2, 2004.

·       Lukes, Steven Liberals and Cannibals (Verso 2003) in Political Studies Review, Volume 2, Issue 2, 2004.  (Used as sample review by Political Studies Review)

·       Kimberly Hutchings and Roland Dannreuther (eds.) Cosmopolitan Citizenship (Basingstoke, Macmillan, 1999) in Political Studies, Vol.48, No.1, March 2000.

·       David Carroll Cochran, The Colour of Freedom: Race and Contemporary American Liberalism (Albany NY, State University of New York Press, 1999) in Political Studies, Vol.48, No.3, June 2000.

·       Alan Montefiore and David Vines (eds.) Integrity in the Public and Private Domains (London and New York, Routledge, 1999) in Political Studies, Vol. 47, No. 5, December 1999.


Other Publications: Research


·       “Evil.” In Oxford Bibliographies in Philosophy. Ed. Duncan Pritchard. New York: Oxford University Press, 2016. (With Eve Garrard)

·       ‘Essentials of Moral Conflict’ in The Essentials of Philosophy and Ethics (ed. Martin Cohen) Hodder Arnold, 2006. (Encyclopaedia entry)

·       PhD thesis: Political Liberalism: a consolidation, reconstruction, and defence. (University of Sheffield: 1998)


Working Papers


·       ‘Learning to be political liberals - reply to Parry’, Mancept Working Paper Series, Department of Government, University of Manchester, Mancept Paper No: 7/98 (July 1998).

·       ‘Outlining the “dirty hands” problem’ in Comment, Volume 8, (1993).

·       ‘Critical Thinking Courses: What does it take to take them seriously?’ in Comment, Volume 5, (1991).


Other Public Output


·       ‘Dismissing Hoddle - a dangerous breach of a basic right’ in After Government, Department of Government Alumni Magazine, University of Manchester, (April 1999).

·       ‘Critical Reasoning and the Abortion Issue’ in Rhodesfest, Grahamstown Festival of Arts, (July 1992). 




·       Co-editor of Representation (with Andrew Russell) (2007-2014)


Media Work

         I have commentated on current events for the following media outlets:


·      BBC Breakfast News

·      BBC Radio 4

·      BBC radio Manchester

·      Manchester Evening News (MEN)

·      Manchester Key 103 Radio

·      RealNews



Last updated : May 2019
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