10 Leadership Lessons

Ideas for Startups - Paul Graham

Date of publication: 2017-08-29 15:22

As some of the examples of retrospective and prospective responsibility indicate, law has an especial connection with questions of responsibility. Legal institutions often assign responsibilities to people, and hold them responsible for failing to fulfill these responsibilities – either via the criminal law and policing, or by allowing other parties to bring them to court via the civil law, for example when a contract is breached. Accordingly, the justification of punishment represents a major concern of philosophy of law. Likewise, legal philosophers, including figures such as . Hart, Herbert Morris and Joel Feinberg, have written a great deal about the philosophy of responsibility. Their discussions have had considerable influence on moral and political philosophers.

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Thus, Socrates chooses to accept his fate and, doing so, secures his place as "the greatest hero in the history of philosophy." Socrates' primary concern in life was arete `excellence', not in the Sophistic sense of practical efficiency in public life, but as moral excellence of soul, that is, virtue. This belief sets the foundations for ethics and philosophy, that Socrates died, not in vain, but for that which he most valued: the pursuit of virtue.

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In its emphasis on character, Aristotle’s account is much closer to Hume’s than to Kant’s, since character is about tendencies to feel and behave in various ways, as well as to think and choose. Given that Kant’s moral psychology is usually thought to be less plausible than Aristotle or Hume’s, it is interesting that Kantian approaches have, nonetheless, dominated modern approaches to retrospective responsibility. Why should this be so?

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This article began by observing that the word responsibility is surprisingly modern, and that two quite different philosophical stories have been told about it. Very little was said concerning the first story, concerning responsibility in political thought. However, it has pointed out that the concept extends more widely than modern philosophical debates tend to acknowledge. Prospective responsibility relates to the fine-grained division of responsibilities involved in the different roles which people adopt in modern societies – above all, the different spheres of responsibility which we are given in the workplace. By the same token, responsibility has clearly become a very important virtue in modern societies.

The most obvious point, that all writers will endorse, is that legal and moral responsibility often overlap, but will diverge on some occasions. In the liberal state we can hope that there will be systematic convergence, inasmuch as the law will uphold important moral precepts, especially concerning the protection of rights. (In a corrupt or tyrannical state, on the other hand, it is obviously very common that legal and moral responsibility have no relation at all. Tyrants often demand that their subjects be complicit in immorality, such as harming the innocent.) An example where law and morality clearly overlap is murder: it is both a legal crime and an egregious moral wrong. Few would dispute, then, that murder ought to be punished, both legally and morally speaking.

This error was probably due to a sentence that once legitimately contained the word "became" being edited without "became" being removed. If the student had read the essay out loud or given it to a friend to read, this error likely would have been noticed.

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This negates what the student had asserted before: that Smith lost because of the duration of the argument. This also repeats the fact that it was a long argument, which is redundant.

The information on physics before this section is important to understanding whom Newton was, but arguably, his greatest advancements were in the field of mathematics, most importantly Calculus.

Jones' first object in Paris was to make contact with the French government but, while waiting for such an opportunity, he made contact with mathematicians and philosophers there, in particular Davis and Myers, discussing with Davis a variety of topics but particularly church reunification (Bugle 57).

The first approach, although historically important, has largely been discredited by the success of modern science. Science provides, or promises, naturalistic explanations of such phenomena as the evolution of the human species and the workings of the brain. Almost all modern philosophers approach responsibility as compatibilists – that is, they assume that moral responsibility must be compatible with causal or naturalistic explanation of human thought and action, and therefore reject the metaphysical idea of free will. (An important note: There can be terminological confusion here. Some contemporary philosophers will use the term "free will" to describe our everyday freedom of choice, claiming that free will, properly understood, is compatible with the world’s causal order.)

Smith was a religious, Christian man. His notion of monads included contextual references to God. He believed that God controls the harmony of life through these monads.

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