Pschology and the Understanding of Good and Evil. This book is concerned with our relation to good and evil and with what psychology can tell us about it. Professor Dilman argues that experimental, 'scientific' psychology can make no contribution to our understanding of good and evil.
Only a 'thoughtful' psychology prepared to reflect on human life and on the different modes being open to human beings in that life can have anything to say about the genuinely moral person and that person's behavior. Psycho-analysis has the potential to be such a psychology, and Professor Dilman searches for the realization of this potential in some later psycho-analytic thinkers.
The book culminates in an examination of Raskolnikov, the murderer-protagonist of Dostoyevsky's Crime and Punishment. Dostoyevsky's novel shows a profound appreciation of what it means to be alienated from goodness and of the radical change in mode of being that accompanies a reintegration with goodness.