Den Frie Vilje

Emilie Salvig, Simone Rysse Rummelhoff Steffensen, Maja Laursen Bjerg, Mette Laybourn Steiness, Natasja Hviid Kjærulff, Heidi Rikke Isted Andersen & Julie Lingren Pedersen

Studenteropgave: Semesterprojekt


In this assignment we are going to examine how evil deeds can be explained philosophically. We are going to examine it based on Rudolf Höss’ autobiography “Kommandant i Auschwitz”. The methods we are using are hermeneutics, concept analysis and philosophical anthropology. In addition we utilize several theories. First and foremost we implicate Immanuel Kant, because his theory can elucidate, if Höss could have acted differently. Additionally we use critical theory and the theory advanced by Zygmunt Bauman. In contrast to Kant both of these theories focus on the structure of society. Moreover we employ the philosophical concepts of free will, determinism and compatibilism. By dint of aforementioned concepts we want to explain, how Höss was able to act the way he did. We also take advantage of the theory about poisonous pedagogy advanced by Alice Miller, because her theory concerns deliberations about how the upbringing has an effect on the grown-up. We utilize the theory about evilness put forward by Lars Fr. H. Svendsen. We use this theory because it can illuminate, which evil Höss was attached to. Beyond that we have made a historical overview of the period 1918-1939, because there was a remarkable mentality in the German society in the inter-war period. The conclusion is that Höss illustrates a compatibilist point of view, but he was mainly determined. Furthermore we can infer that Höss’ deeds can be explained philosophically in several ways. We can draw the conclusion that his ability to think autonomously and enlightened was inhibited, because of several factors, among these the remarkable mentality in the society, his authoritarian upbringing and Holocaust. Therefore we can conclude that these factors led him towards evil deeds.

UddannelserBasis - Humanistisk Bacheloruddannelse, (Bachelor uddannelse) Basis
Udgivelsesdato28 maj 2015
VejledereFlemming Finn Hansen


  • Höss
  • Anden Verdenskrig