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Some Historical Background What follows in this section is a brief outline of the origins and trajectory of reflection on moral responsibility in the Western philosophical Freedom and resentment. Against this background, a distinction will be drawn between two conceptions of moral responsibility that have exerted considerable influence on subsequent thinkers.
Freedom and resentment understanding of the concept of moral responsibility and its application is present implicitly in some of the earliest surviving Greek texts, i.
If some particular outcome is fated, then it seems that the agent concerned could not be morally responsible for that outcome. Likewise, if fatalism were true with respect to all human futures, then it would seem that no human agent could be morally responsible for anything.
Though this brand of fatalism has sometimes exerted significant historical influence, most philosophers have rejected it on the grounds that there is no good reason to think that our futures are fated in the sense that they will unfold no matter what particular deliberations we engage in, choices we make, or actions we perform.
Aristotle — BCE seems to have been the first to construct a theory of moral responsibility. A bit later, he clarifies that only a certain kind of agent qualifies as a moral agent and is thus properly subject to ascriptions of responsibility, namely, one who possess a capacity for decision.
According to Aristotle, a voluntary action or trait has two distinctive features. First, there is a control condition: That is, it must be up to the agent whether to perform that action or possess the trait—it cannot be compelled externally. Second, Aristotle proposes an epistemic condition: Aristotle aims to identify the conditions under which it is appropriate to praise or blame an agent, but it is not entirely clear how to understand the pivotal notion of appropriateness in his conception of responsibility.
There are at least two possibilities: These two possibilities may be characterized in terms of two competing interpretations of the concept of moral responsibility: While Aristotle argued against a version of fatalism On Interpretation, ch.
Causal determinism is the view that everything that happens or exists is caused by sufficient antecedent conditions, making it impossible for anything to happen or be other than it does or is. One variety of causal determinism, scientific determinism, identifies the relevant antecedent conditions as a combination of prior states of the universe and the laws of nature.
Another, theological determinism, identifies those conditions as being the nature and will of God. It seems likely that theological determinism evolved out of the shift, both in Greek religion and in Ancient Mesopotamian religions, from polytheism to belief in one sovereign God, or at least one god who reigned over all others.
The doctrine of scientific determinism can be traced back as far as the Presocratic Atomists 5th cent. BCEbut the difference between it and the earlier fatalistic view seems not to be clearly recognized until the development of Stoic philosophy 3rd.
If fatalism is true, then human deliberation, choice, and action are completely otiose, for what is fated will transpire no matter what one chooses to do. In other words, even though our deliberations, choices, and actions are themselves determined like everything else, it is still the case, according to causal determinism, that the occurrence or existence of yet other things depends upon our deliberating, choosing and acting in a certain way Irwin Since the Stoics, the thesis of causal determinism, if true, and its ramifications, have taken center stage in theorizing about moral responsibility.
During the Medieval period, especially in the work of Augustine — and Aquinas —reflection on freedom and responsibility was often generated by questions concerning versions of theological determinism, including most prominently: During the Modern period, there was renewed interest in scientific determinism—a change attributable to the development of increasingly sophisticated mechanistic models of the universe culminating in the success of Newtonian physics.
The possibility of giving a comprehensive explanation of every aspect of the universe—including human action—in terms of physical causes became much more plausible. Many thought that persons could not be free and morally responsible if such an explanation of human action turned out to be true.
Others argued that freedom and responsibility would not be undermined by the truth of scientific determinism. In keeping with this focus on the ramifications of causal determinism for moral responsibility, thinkers may be classified as being one of two types: For example, those who accept the merit-based conception of moral responsibility have tended to be incompatibilists.
That is, most have thought that if an agent were to genuinely merit praise or blame for something, then he would need to exercise a special form of control over that thing e.
In addition to Epicurus, we can cite early Augustine, Thomas Reid —and Immanuel Kant — as historical examples here. Thomas Hobbes —David Hume —and John Stuart Mill — are, along with the Stoics, representatives of this view. This general trend of linking the consequentialist conception of moral responsibility with compatibilism about causal determinism and moral responsibility and the merit-based conception with incompatibilism continued to persist through the first half of the twentieth century.
As discussed above, philosophical reflection on moral responsibility has historically relied upon one of two broad interpretations of the concept: Though versions of the consequentialist view have continued to garner support Smart; Frankena Aries mar apr 20 Adventurous and energetic Pioneering and courageous Enthusiastic and confident Dynamic and quick-witted Selfish and quick-tempered Impulsive and impatient Foolhardy and daredevil.
P. F. STRAWSON: FREEDOM AND RESENTMENT -- The Determinism and Freedom Philosophy Website --The doyen of living English philosophers, by these reflections, took hold of and changed the outlook of a good many other philosophers, if not quite enough. In his landmark essay, ‘Freedom and Resentment,’ P.
F. Strawson The resurgence of interest in metaphysical treatments of freedom and moral responsibility in recent years is a sign that most have not been persuaded by his most radical critique of such approaches.
Nevertheless, his enduring influence is reflected in the ongoing rich. Keeping resentment bottled up for YEARS??? I can barely keep resentment under wraps for a week – and when it does eventually come out – which, like you said ALWAYS does – it’s never, ever pretty.
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Don't Bite the Hook: Finding Freedom from Anger, Resentment, and Other Destructive Emotions [Pema Chodron] on regardbouddhiste.com *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. Life has a way of provoking us with traffic jams and computer malfunctions, with emotionally distant partners and .