Universiteit Leiden

nl en


LUCIP Lecture, On Badness: Cruelty and Madness

Friday 28 June 2024
Centre for Intercultural Philosophy events 2023 - 2024
P.J. Veth
Nonnensteeg 1-3
2311 VJ Leiden

The Leiden University Centre for Intercultural Philosophy (LUCIP) is pleased to welcome Prof. Arindam Chakrabarti, Professor of Philosophy at Ashoka University, India. 

Fransico Goya, Saturn devouring his son, 1823, Museo del Prado, Madrid

On Badness: Cruelty and Madness

The concept of the BAD is not any easier to define than the concept of the GOOD. Distinguishing at least four kinds of bad stuff: pain, wickedness, ugliness and madness, this lecture focuses on the second and fourth kinds: CRUELTY and MADNESS. In discussing the moral psychology of cruelty, my philosophical textual source would be the 3 thousand years old Sanskrit epic Mahabharata, early Buddhist ethics as well as the writings of contemporary philosophers such as Judith Shklar and Claudia Card. For Madness, we shall delve into Immanuel Kant’s little-known essay On the Maladies of the Head/Mind (Versuch über die Krankheiten des Kopfes.” Königsbergsche Gelehrte und Politische Zeitungen, 4-8, 13-27 February 1764). The lecture ends with the open question: Should we classify extreme cruelty as a form of madness?



Arindam Chakrabarti is Professor of Philosophy at Ashoka University in, India. He was formerly Professor of Philosophy at the University of Hawaii and has held visiting positions at many prestigious institutions, including Edinburgh, the Sanskrit University at Tirupati, India and Trinity College, Cambridge. After receiving a Ph.D. from Oxford University under Peter Strawson and Michael Dummett, Professor Chakrabarti has specialised in both the areas of classical Nyaya, Buddhism and Kashmir Shaivism, analytic and Continental philosophy as well as aesthetics and moral psychology. He has also made great contributions to the modern theory of intercultural philosophical method. Along with the large volume of monographs, edited volumes and essays Dr Chakrabarti has written in both English and Bengali, Professor Chakrabarti's latest works of note are his large monograph Realisms Interlinked: Objects, Subjects and Other Subjects published by Bloomsbury London which came out in 2019. He is currently working on finishing “The Book of Questions: Analytical Introduction to Indian Philosophies” (under contract with Penguin India) and a book on Moral Psychology of Emotions.

All are welcome!

Prof. Arindam Chakrabarti
This website uses cookies.  More information.