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Why does Aristotle think that actions done out of fear might be excused but not actions done from some other kind of response? For Aristotle, the actions that are committed as a result of some emotional excitement, especially fear, are considered as not unlike a physical handicap that eventually excuse the actor from any culpability…
In this particular area, fear is one of the variables that are considered to result during the time or circumstance when an agent acts or fails to act because of strong feelings. Broadie put this more clearly when she explained the Aristotelian principle about how “fear might prevent the craftsman from functioning properly as a craftsman,” and that “it might hinder his dexterity or warp his judgment in some way; but if we know the situation we shall not assess his skill on the basis of that response” (81). Aristotle’s position is clear – an action driven by fear is excusable - but he put forward a fundamental condition: the perpetrator must not know the consequence of his action or that the outcome of his actions or inactions is unforeseen. This balance is what makes me agree with the philosopher’s point of view. There are instances when fear makes us irrational, clouding our judgments. Mistakes that are made in the process, hence, cannot be considered as guilt-ridden acts as long as it is not deliberate, voluntary and made by choice. Fear In Aristotle’s theory of moral responsibility, there are two specific exceptions that supposedly dilute or diminish a person’s guilt resulting from his actions: ignorance and compulsion. ...
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