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Aristotle on Moral ResponsibilityCharacter and Cause$
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Susan Sauvé Meyer

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199697427

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199697427.001.0001

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Voluntariness, Praiseworthiness, and Character

Voluntariness, Praiseworthiness, and Character

(p.36) 2. Voluntariness, Praiseworthiness, and Character
Aristotle on Moral Responsibility

Susan Sauvé Meyer

Oxford University Press

This chapter considers Aristotle's own explanation of why he includes a discussion of voluntariness in his discussion of moral character. The connection he sees between voluntariness and the praiseworthiness and blameworthiness of states of character gives us reason to suppose that the account of voluntariness is intended to capture conditions of moral responsibility for action. He thinks we are morally responsible for those actions and feelings produced by our states of moral character. The account of praiseworthiness on which he relies, however, fails to endorse a common modern assumption about moral responsibility — the view that one's praiseworthiness or blameworthiness for action requires responsibility for the states of character from which one acts.

Keywords:   Aristotle, moral character, blameworthiness, moral responsibility

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