Posted: Mar 17, 2014 12:55 pm
by Keep It Real
Philosofer123 wrote:
Keep It Real wrote:My current attempt to think my way out of the "no personal responsibility" situation is that people aren't responsible for who they are to a large extent, but that they are responsible for their actions.

I'm afraid that won't work. The regress argument (see page 3) shows that to be responsible for one's actions, one must be responsible for the way one is, at least in certain mental respects.

Keep It Real wrote:One good decision (eg. deciding to read Daniel Kahneman's "Thinking Fast, Thinking Slow") can result in one being a better person - and that decision was based on one's very own brain, in which one should take pride.

I'm afraid that won't work either. One may feel fortunate for being the type of person who makes such a decision, but the regress argument shows that one cannot be truly responsible for any of one's decisions. As a result, pride is rendered irrational.

If you take make the decision to take pride in your decisions, for whatever reason, your behaviour will be improved and self esteem is possible. How can one be a good person if all evil behaviour is excused because of the regress argument? It is essential people take pride/responsibility in their decisions or we're all completely fucked. You might not be able to take pride in the decision to take pride in future decisions, but that's no big deal - a one time hiccup. Sane people need to be held responsible for their actions and to take responsibility for their actions. In the former case we're not (responsible for our actions) - I agree, and it's a paradox, because the latter is possible however (taking responsibility for one's actions) and moreover necessary for decent behaviour. I'm working this out as I go along but I can't accept your elimination of all guilt/pride etc. through logical regress argument - it's so very bleak. It seems like more of a philosophy of death than a philosophy of life at the moment I'm sorry to say.