By Javier Echeñique
Aristotle's Ethics develops a posh idea of the characteristics which make for a superb man or woman and for numerous many years there was severe dialogue approximately no matter if Aristotle's thought of voluntariness, defined within the Ethics, truly delineates what sleek thinkers may realize as a conception of ethical accountability.
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Additional resources for Aristotle's Ethics and Moral Responsibility
That is, if the offender is a member of the moral community. Strawson 1962: 89 (emphasis added). 30 Part I: Towards an account of ethical ascription satisfy this description in that they are not justified purely by instrumentalist considerations. Moreover, it can be noticed straight away that there are cases falling under (3) that do not do so either. For instance, in warning a prospective employer about S, I am not necessarily treating S in an ‘instrumentalist’ way. e. 31 Roberts’ own view – let us call it the ‘prospective conditioning view’ – is precisely that prospective praise and blame can account for this ‘curious fact’ (her words): Humans (or animals) are responsible for their voluntary actions in the sense that their particular desires are at least a crucial part of the explanation of what happens.
See also Irwin 2007: 178. Against the Strawsonian interpretation 29 and blame for which Aristotle thinks voluntariness is necessary might simply be tools of behavioural control and character formation justified by purely prospective considerations. 27 This way of framing the contrast between S-reactive and ‘objective’ attitudes is thoroughly warranted by Strawson’s own view, but it is misleading. As is clear from Protagoras’ celebrated theory of punishing for prospective reasons (Plato’s Protagoras 324a–c), prospectively praising and blaming an agent S for an action x are practices that seek: (1) to encourage S to perform, or to deter S from performing, actions relevantly similar to x in the future; or, alternatively, (2) to increase or decrease the probability of the performance of the same type of actions as performed by others.
If this is the case, then the following passage of the Ethica Nicomachea explains why non-human animals are not moral agents: We do not call beasts either temperate or intemperate, except metaphorically when one kind of animal differs from another in violence and wantonness and in being ravenous. 39 (EN 1149b31–1150a1) Commenting on this passage, however, Sauv´e Meyer says: ‘The reason Aristotle gives here for excluding non-human animals and the insane from 38 Sauv´e Meyer 1993: 23. 39 Ibid. 23.
Aristotle's Ethics and Moral Responsibility by Javier Echeñique