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Aristotle on Moral Responsibility - Essay Example

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A person is not morally responsible for an action if he or she does not know the possible consequences of his actions prior to the performance of that action, according to Aristotle. By such standards Aristotle tells us about the moral responsibility on a person for his or her actions. In this essay we will talk about the Aristotle’s take on moral responsibility of person for his or her actions. The voluntary acts and involuntary acts will be defined and how moral responsibility is a function of moral character will also be explained according to Aristotle. The film Dead Man Walking will also be discussed and its scenes will be analyzed keeping in mind the writings of Aristotle.
Moral responsibility is defined by Aristotle to some extent through his concept of voluntary and involuntary acts. Moral responsibility can also be determined through the knowledge of consequences of the actions prior to the performance of those actions. Moral responsibility is also determined through the concept of impulsive and deliberate actions. A person is also morally responsible for inaction in certain situations therefore this is also a criteria through which moral responsibility can be determined. All these determinants of moral responsibility will be discussed in the paper.
Aristotle talks about voluntary and involuntary acts. An act according to him is involuntary if a person has no control on his actions. Moral responsibility of an action does not lie on a person if he or she is forced to perform an action. An example would be that of a person who loses his cell phone and wallet to a thief at the gun point. Such actions that are not voluntary and performer of such actions cannot be held morally responsible for it.
The definition of involuntary actions, by Aristotle, is very restricted and narrow. He believes that an action is only involuntary if the agent is not taking any willful part in the action himself. A person may be under force but ...Show more
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It is not possible to read an introduction of western philosophy without the mention of Aristotle. The discussion of moral responsibility composes a…
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