Response to “Dubious Premises— Evil Conclusions:
Moral Reasoning at the Nuremberg Trials” by Edmund
D. Pellegrino and David C. Thomasma (CQ Vol 9, No 2)
Michael L. Gross a1 a1 Department of Political Science at the
University of Haifa, Israel
Because we are often nagged by the thought that we might not
have behaved any differently than those good citizens whose respect
for the law and fear of punishment led them to support the Nazi
regime, we are fascinated with the behavior of ordinary Germans.
Careful to first strip away the pathological explanations of German
behavior, Pellegrino and Thomasma ask simply whether ordinary Germans
could have reasoned and, by implication, acted differently.
Although their affirmative answer is consistent with the activism
we have all come to demand of the Germans, it is not clear whether
we, ourselves, can lay full claim to the moral high ground.