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Socially, peoples’ responsibilities are those things for which they are accountable; failure to discharge a responsibility renders one liable to some censure or penalty. A job, or profession, or social role will be partly defined in terms of the responsibilities it involves. The extent of responsibility not just for oneself but for others is a central topic for political and ethical theory (‘Am I my brother's keeper?’). Understanding the nature of our causal responsibility for our own thoughts, natures, and actions is the main problem in any theory of action. See free will.

Subjects: Philosophy.

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W. B. Yeats (1865—1939) poet

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