By Javier Echeñique
Aristotle's Ethics develops a posh thought of the features which make for an excellent man or woman and for a number of a long time there was extreme dialogue approximately even if Aristotle's conception of voluntariness, defined within the Ethics, really delineates what smooth thinkers may realize as a conception of ethical accountability.
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Extra info for Aristotle's Ethics and Moral Responsibility
Now, I suspect that the Strawsonian interpreter may retort as follows: ‘I grant you that I have misrepresented the peculiar, non-instrumental nature of educational attitudes. ’ From this we are expected to conclude that children are not moral agents and our attitudes to them are not moral. Nevertheless, if we have indeed educational attitudes to children that can be plausibly characterised as ‘moral’, then the Strawsonian reasoning above can be shown to be question-begging. Part of what is essential about educational attitudes is that the sort of blame exemplified by the father’s scolding of his child has to belong in some way to the same category as the sort of blame that the child himself is meant to bestow upon the same type of actions – and ultimately upon their agents – when these become of his concern once the child has acquired full membership of the moral community.
On the basis of certain modern accounts of the nature of praise and blame, some interpreters (the ‘Strawsonian interpreters’) have argued that Aristotle’s discussions of voluntariness in his Ethics are exclusively concerned with the conditions of virtuous (and faulty) activity of type (B), that is, the type of voluntary activity that virtue (or vice) disposes us mature ethical agents to do. These interpreters have 5 6 See also MM 1187a20–1. For reasons that will become clear in section F below, I prefer to translate ‘epainetos’ and ‘psektos’ as ‘praiseable’ and ‘blameable’, respectively, instead of the more standard ‘praiseworthy’ and ‘blameworthy’.
As a result, the Strawsonian interpretation cannot even get off the ground. The arguments offered in these sections will also cast serious doubts on the other two features of the Strawsonian interpretation, that is, the view of Aristotelian praise and blame as S-reactive attitudes and the exclusive focus on the morally accountable agent. These other features will receive separate discussion in sections F, G and H below. d. 38 Let us assume with Sauv´e Meyer that the reason for excluding a given organism from the category of moral agents is the same as the reason for withholding virtue- and vice-predicates from it.