A Devil under the Guise of a Good Conscience


  • Robert Vuckovich Wilfrid Laurier University




Dostoevsky, Glaucon, impunity, impulses, public confession, private confession


Buried within Fyodor Dostoevsky's works are glimpses of corrupt individuals who rise to the fore every now and then. Without these occasional revelations, not many would notice how diabolical an ordinary person really is. Although Dostoevsky does generalize that human nature can be quite vile, a character like the mysterious visitor from The Brothers Karamazov displays that nature without striving to be extraordinary as Dostoevsky's other prolific characters. Something troubling still lurks within this mundane type. Relying on moral dilemmas presented by ancient thinkers will help this project expose and elaborate on the unsavouriness behind the activities and dispositions of Dostoevsky's minute character. With the mysterious visitor as the prime focus, we discover how an individual distorts one's personal development and decent relations with other humane beings.


Download data is not yet available.


Benjamin, Walter. "Dostoevsky's The Idiot." In Selected Writings, Volume 1. Edited by Marcus Bullock and Michael W. Jennings. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1996.

Bennington, Geoffrey. "Postal Politics and the Institution of the Nation." In Nation and Narration. Aristotle. The Nicomachean Ethics. Translated by H. Rackham. London: Harvard University Press: 1990.

Bakhtin, Mikhail. Problems of Dostoevsky's Poetics. Edited and Translated by Caryl Emerson. Intro-duction by Wayne C. Booth. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1994.

Berlin, Isaiah. Russian Thinkers. Edited by Henry Hardy and Aileen Kelly. Introduction by Aileen Kelly. London: Penguin Books, 1994.

Browning, Gary L. "Zosima's ‘Secret of Renewal' in The Brothers Karamazov." Slavic and East Eu-ropean Journal Vol. 33, Nr. 4 (1989): 516-529.

Dostoevsky, Fyodor. The Notebooks for The Brothers Karamazov. Edited and Translated by Edward Wasiolek. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1971.

Dostoevsky, Fyodor. The Brothers Karamazov. Translated by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volo-khonsky. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, Inc., 1992.

Dostoyevsky, Fyodor. "Mr Prokharchin: A Story." In David McDuff (Trans. with intro) Poor Folk and Other Stories. London: Penguin Books, 1988: 215-248.

Faro, Giorgio. "A criminal's confession: comparing rival ethics in crime and punishment (F. Dostoev-sky)." Church, Communication and Culture Vol. 2, Nr.3 (2017): 272-283.

Frank, Joseph. Dostoevsky: The Seeds of Revolt, 1821-1849. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1976.

Frank, Joseph. Dostoevsky: The Mantle of the Prophet 1871-1881. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2002.

Long, A.A. and D.N. Sedley. The Hellenistic Philosophers. Vol. 1. Translations of the Principal Sources, with Philosophical Commentary by A. A. Long and D. N. Sedley. Cambridgeshire: Cambridge University Press: 1997.

Pachmuss, Temira. F. M. Dostoevsky: Dualism and Synthesis of the Human Soul. Prefaced by Harry T. Moore. Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 1963.

Plato. Republic. Translated by G. M. A. Grube. Revised by C. D. C. Reeve. Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing Company, 1992.

Rozanov, Vasily. Dostoevsky and the Legend of the Grand Inquisitor. Translated and with an Af-terword by Spencer E. Roberts. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1972.

Scanlan, James P. Dostoevsky: The Thinker. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2002.

Seneca. Ad Lucilium Epistulae Morales: Books XCIII-CXXIV. Translated by Richard M. Gummere. Vol. III. London: Harvard University Press: 1989.

Seneca. Moral Essays. Translated by John W. Basore. Vol. I. London: Harvard University Press: 1994.

Strem, George G. "The Moral World of Dostoevsky." The Russian Review Vol. 16, Nr. 3 (1957): 15-26.




How to Cite

Vuckovich, R. (2021). A Devil under the Guise of a Good Conscience. Labyrinth, 23(1), 86–104. https://doi.org/10.25180/lj.v23i1.257



Dostoevsky, Existential Philosophy, and Contemporary Thought