Personal Responsibility Essay Introduction

Personal Responsibility Essay Introduction-80
The original philosophical usage of "responsibility" was political (see Mc Keon, 1957). In all modern European languages, "responsibility" only finds a home toward the end of the eighteenth century.This is within debates about representative government, that is, government which is responsible to the people.So far as responsibility has a place in eighteenth and nineteenth century thought, then, this is in political contexts, where the concern is with responsible action and the principles of representative government.

The original philosophical usage of "responsibility" was political (see Mc Keon, 1957). In all modern European languages, "responsibility" only finds a home toward the end of the eighteenth century.This is within debates about representative government, that is, government which is responsible to the people.So far as responsibility has a place in eighteenth and nineteenth century thought, then, this is in political contexts, where the concern is with responsible action and the principles of representative government.

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In the etymology of "responsibility," the (1787), and the Anglo-Irish political thinker Edmund Burke (1796).

When John Stuart Mill writes of responsibility, in the middle of the nineteenth century, again his concern is not with free will, but with the principles of representative government.

This retrospective, or backward-looking, use is closely connected with praise and blame, punishment, and desert.

When something has gone wrong, we invariably want to know who was at fault; and when something has gone right, we occasionally stop to ask who acted well. Again, however, we might use the same words to ask an entirely different question: "What is a person responsible for?

It also enables us to relate responsibility to its original philosophical use, which was in political thought. It is also, as Paul Ricoeur has observed, "not really well-established within the philosophical tradition" (2000: 11).

This is reflected in the fact that we can locate two rather different philosophical approaches to responsibility.These debates obviously center on the individual agent.As such, they pose difficulties for understanding the topic of collective responsibility – an issue that twentieth century politics has raised with a new urgency.We might also approach the same issue with a somewhat different emphasis: What features of (normal, adult) human are involved in our holding one another responsible? Here responsibility names a virtue – a morally valuable character trait. One of the word’s original uses was to call for "responsible government." We can compare this with the more recent demand that corporations be "socially responsible." This aspect of responsibility has received very little philosophical attention.is a question most often asked by philosophers in connection with causation and accountability.Would the truth of determinism eliminate such responsibility?Recent moral philosophy contains many attempts to show how responsible agency might be with the causal order of the universe." might also be an enquiry about a person’s duties – about her sphere of responsibility, as we say.A parent is responsible for caring for his child, an employee for doing her job, a citizen for obeying the law.Later sections also comment on the relation between legal and moral responsibility, and on the responsibility of collectives.The article discusses four different areas of individual moral responsibility: (1) Responsible agency, whereby a person is regarded as a normal moral agent; (2) Retrospective responsibility, when a person is judged for her actions, for instance, in being blamed or punished; (3) Prospective responsibility, for instance, the responsibilities attaching to a particular role; and (4) Responsibility as a virtue, when we praise a person as being responsible.

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