Choice and the Origination of Action

W.F.R. Hardie

in Aristotle's Ethical Theory

Second edition

Published in print January 1980 | ISBN: 9780198246329
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191680953 | DOI:
Choice and the Origination of Action

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This chapter discusses Aristotle's doctrine that a man, or something in a man, is the moving principle, or responsible cause, of his actions. It tries to clarify Aristotle's curiously unconfident statement, that people are ‘in a sense’ and ‘partly’ responsible for being what they are. Both Plato and Aristotle insist on the salutary truism that, by actions, people forms character and shape their lives. Both are attentive to the obvious fact that people have to work with tools. People do not choose their parents or their bodies and innate mental aptitudes. People were not consulted about the economic resources, social customs, educational arrangements, and legal systems of the societies in which they found themselves when they were still children.

Keywords: responsibility; Plato; Aristotle; Nicomachean Ethics; deliberation; moralist

Chapter.  9318 words. 

Subjects: Ancient Philosophy

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