Aristotle's Alleged Moral Determinism in the Nicoachean Ethics

Abstract
Did Aristotle believe that upbringing determines character, and character, in turn, determines action? Some scholars answer this question in the affirmative and thus read Aristotle as a determinist with little use for the idea that people are morally responsible for what they do. The present paper counters this interpretation by showing that a deterministic reading of Aristotle’s theory of action and character is indefensible in the face of the text. The author points to three main facts: (1)a passage in the Nicomachean Ethics shows conclusively that Aristotle did not regard upbringing as determining moral character; (2) the doctrine of character expounded in Nicomachean Ethics III does not entail that people can only act in conformity with their moral dispositions, and (3) Aristotle viewed alternatepossibilities as genuinely open to moral agents, not as available to them only in principle (i.e., if they had received a different upbringing or had had different beliefs and desires)
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.5840/jpr_2008_3
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
 
Download options
PhilPapers Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 23,316
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index

2011-12-02

Total downloads

38 ( #125,076 of 1,926,181 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

5 ( #197,585 of 1,926,181 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature


Discussion
Start a new thread
Order:
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.