Get Choosing Character: Responsibility for Virtue & Vice PDF

By Jonathan A. Jacobs

ISBN-10: 0801438594

ISBN-13: 9780801438592

Are there key respects within which personality and personality defects are voluntary? Can brokers with critical vices be rational brokers? Jonathan Jacobs solutions within the affirmative. ethical personality is formed via voluntary conduct, together with the methods we habituate ourselves, Jacobs believes. simply as contributors can voluntarily lead unsatisfied lives with no making disappointment an finish, so can they degrade their moral characters via voluntary motion that doesn't have institution of vice as its finish. identifying personality offers an account of moral incapacity, increasing the area of accountability and explicating the function of personality in moral cognition. Jacobs contends that brokers turn into ethically disabled voluntarily whilst their behavior impair their skill to correctly savour moral concerns. Such brokers are rational, in charge people who are but incapable of virtuous motion. The view develops and modifies Aristotelian claims about the fixity of personality. Jacobs' interpretation is built not like the ignored paintings of Maimonides, who extensively utilized Aristotelian assets yet argued for the potential of personality switch. The concept of moral incapacity has profound ramifications for ethics and for present debates approximately blame and punishment.

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Seen in this light, his safeguard of faith turns out to be heavy with unintended irony, a sand castle molded from the very stuff of the absurd. Any new act of the will can wash it away without a trace, even in the next moment. And any two opposing acts of the will can cancel each other out at least as thoroughly as can the opposing conclusions of reason that he was so anxious to point out and deplore. The student's statements also echoed a second nihilistic theme. This is the idea that atheism and nihilism come down to the same thingthat the only alternative to belief in God and adherence to traditional Western religious teachings is nihilistic despaircoupled with the notion that an alleged rapid decline of Western civilization in recent years can be attributed directly to loss of faith in God and the fading of the Christian vision.

He is an extremely strong and self-confident individual and shows no hesitation in trying to gratify his whims and desires at whatever pain to those around him. He is capable of acts of great cruelty, which he carries out with a delight unhampered by moral qualms. " The captain responds, "That's it" (57). On other occasions, Van Weyden muses that Larson is "not immoral, but merely unmoral," or that he is not so much black-hearted as possessed of no heart at all (68, 40). Larson is thus portrayed as a moral nihilist in our first sense of that term: a man devoid of moral conscience or concern, seeing no reason to submit his actions to any moral principle.

He was thus at the farthest possible remove from the ruthless amoralism of a Wolf Larson. Yet, by his own theory, any inclination we might have to commend Russell's high committment to moral principles, to say nothing of our attitude toward those principles themselves or toward ways in which he sought to apply them, rests ultimately on the contingent grounds of our socially induced moral feelings. Had we been conditioned like Larson, then it would be Larson's stance we would be predisposed to praise, not Russell's.

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Choosing Character: Responsibility for Virtue & Vice by Jonathan A. Jacobs


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