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Aristotle's Theory concerning Moral Responsibility - Essay Example

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Aristotle's Theory concerning Moral Responsibility

Aristotle believes that every human being has a responsibility for his or her actions, something that makes others reasonably praise, blame or even punish him or her; he shows this by pointing out various conditions, which lessen or even cancel this responsibility. He converses force of occurrences, threats, along with coercion, bad character, ignorance and intoxication. Taken together, his version shows the basic concepts involved in being a person who ends up getting reasonably praised or blamed. The primary limitation concerning voluntary action is the force of circumstances. Aristotle gives an example about a ship caught in a storm; in this case, the sailors have to throw goods overboard to avoid the sinking of the ship. Here, the action is not entirely voluntary; therefore the sailors are not to blame for their actions. On the other hand, the storm is not to blame for the undesirable outcome, which is the loss of the goods, since it is a natural event that no one is responsible. Another example is the case whereby my friend accidentally pushes me as a result of getting pushed by a bully; here, she is not to blame considering that it was not here intention to push me, rather, she got pushed, and as a result, ended up pushing me. These cases are extreme instances of the force of necessity whereby we always live and always get forced into our actions by natural facts, though we only notice this when the force happens to be sudden or unexpected (Williams 25). In reality, the interference of other people is what causes us the most grief, which in turn causes problems when it comes to responsibility attributions. This interference tends to take many forms; however, its paradigmatic forms happen to be coercion and manipulation. Concerning coercion, the judgment by Aristotle get balanced since it is dependent on what act my coercer is demanding from me, as well as the threats he is making. On the other hand, there are some actions, which tend to be extremely heinous that we must be blamed for carrying them out, whatever a person gets threatened with, together with whatever blame also tends to be attached to the coercer; hence Aristotle dismisses the thought that a man may be compelled to killing his mother (Williams 45). Apparently, a central issue at stake when it comes to attributions of responsibility happens to be the expectations that people have each other. Although there are some kinds of coercion that we do not normally expect people to oppose, there are also some forms of action that people should never embark on, regardless of such features. In these cases praise, together with blame tends to work on clarifying and to reinforce these expectations through the provision of a form of moral education. What determines appropriate or immoral character happens to be the manner in which a person reacts when he discovers the truth or failing to regret their deeds, then they can be blamed, albeit the original choice being justifiable. According to Aristotle, our praise and blame is in most cases, not about an individual act; rather, it is about the character of the one who acted. Importantly, not every form of ignorance gets excused since moral knowledge happens to be extremely distinctive from factual knowledge (Echenique 49). However, if a person tends to be morally ignorant, he or she ends up being unable to choose well; here, Aristotle grants that the majority of people of settled villainous character, whether they are morally ignorant or otherwise, are ...Show more


Name Instructor Course Date Aristotle’s Theory concerning Moral Responsibility According to Aristotle’s theory concerning moral responsibility, there is neither hard nor fast rule for ascertaining whether a person who has acted due to coercion is blameworthy…
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Aristotles Theory concerning Moral Responsibility essay example
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