Determinism and Responsibility

Christopher Janaway

in Self and World in Schopenhauer's Philosophy

Published in print July 1999 | ISBN: 9780198250036
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191597817 | DOI:
 Determinism and Responsibility

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Gives an account principally of Schopenhauer's essay On the Freedom of the Human Will. He argues that human willing is determined by the combination of motives (representations that cause actions) and the character of the agent. Self‐consciousness is not capable of deciding whether or not the agent could have willed otherwise, but an objective view dictates that all actions are necessitated by their cause. Despite this, Schopenhauer argues that our sense of being responsible for our actions remains, and he attempts to account for it in terms of a responsibility for our intelligible (non‐empirical) characters.

Keywords: cause; character; determinism; motive; representation; responsibility; Schopenhauer; self‐consciousness; the will

Chapter.  7096 words. 

Subjects: History of Western Philosophy

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