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Against Moral Responsibility$
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Bruce N. Waller

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780262016599

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: August 2013

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262016599.001.0001

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Responsibility for the Self You Make

Responsibility for the Self You Make

Chapter:
(p.115) 7 Responsibility for the Self You Make
Source:
Against Moral Responsibility
Author(s):

Bruce N. Waller

Publisher:
The MIT Press
DOI:10.7551/mitpress/9780262016599.003.0007

This chapter discusses the view of some moral responsibility advocates positing that people do not simply take moral responsibility for the character they happen to have; rather, they gain moral responsibility for themselves because they make themselves. Jean Paul Sartre insists that man’s existence precedes their essence and that humans are self-conscious self-creating “being-for-itself” with the free power and necessity to make themselves; we are different in kind from entities with their own given natures, the unfree “being-in-itself.” Naturalists, however, have been reluctant to embrace self-making as grounds for moral responsibility since it cannot possibly fit within a naturalistic system of thought.

Keywords:   moral responsibility advocates, Jean Paul Sartre, existence, essence, being-for-itself, being-in-itself, self-making, naturalistic system of thought

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