Sam Harris Should Read Bernard Williams

In Shame and Necessity (Sather Classical Lectures, University of California Press, 2nd ed., 2008, pp. 68-69) writing on the ancient Greeks’ conceptions of responsibility and human agency via the tale of Oedipus, Bernard Williams writes: [T]here is another aspect to responsibility, which comes out if we start on the question not from the response that the publicContinue reading “Sam Harris Should Read Bernard Williams”

Causal Analysis, Moral Culpability, And Gaza

If X causes Y, and Y causes Z, then surely X is the cause of Z? So goes the intuition–very roughly–that the causal relation is transitive. It thus often underwrites arguments about moral culpability and responsibility–sometimes even in legal settings. If I am the cause for your actions, then I am culpable, by one reckoning,Continue reading “Causal Analysis, Moral Culpability, And Gaza”

A Puzzle about Karmic Doctrine – Contd.

Reader theendlessknot3d writes in with an interesting comment to yesterday’s post on the doctrine of karma as explicated by Daya Krishna: You say that karma is working, in the case of B, to bring retribution for a past action, Y, which B had previously inflicted on another, and that A is therefore potentially free of guilt/responsibilityContinue reading “A Puzzle about Karmic Doctrine – Contd.”

Daya Krishna on the Doctrine of Karma: A Puzzle

During the course of a series of lectures delivered at the Indian Institute of Advanced Study in 2005–in an attempt to explicate what he saw as one of the primary distinctions between the ‘Western’ and the ‘Indian’ conceptions of the relationship of the individual to society–Daya Krishna noted: The idea that one may be responsibleContinue reading “Daya Krishna on the Doctrine of Karma: A Puzzle”