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The Problem May Lurk In Aristotle’s Ethics

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Chapter Summary

In this chapter, the author discusses Aristotle's basic notion of voluntariness. In doing so, he explores his claim that knowledge is required for voluntariness, and probes into some issues surrounding his understanding of ignorance and its relation to voluntariness. This discussion moreover leads to the realization that the problem of negligent omissions may even lurk in one of Aristotle's most basic distinctions between types of ignorance: the distinction between 'ignorance of particular circumstances' and 'ignorance of universals'. The results of this chapter partially points out the necessity of solving negligent omissions so as to ground Aristotle's own action theory. There are two conditions: (i) the act being in the agent's power in some sense, and (ii) the agent knowing the circumstances concerning that which she is doing. In the remainder of this chapter and the book as a whole, the author refers to this latter condition as the 'knowledge requirement'..

Keywords: Aristotle's basic notion; ignorance; negligent omissions; voluntariness



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