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Philosophy on LJ
duty and character 
8th-Aug-2008 12:44 am
rock
It is well understood that duty cannot defer to passion. Actions that defer to passions, can at best proceed in accordance with duty. Such deference preempts the possibility of acting from duty. It is equally certain that duty cannot defer to orientation, construed as a certain regularity in passions. Nor can it defer to outlook, construed as a cohesive diachronic account of passions. For regularity and cohesion add nothing principled to the mix. But by the same token, it is far from clear that duty is independent of character, construed as a cohesive diachronic organizing principle of passions and constituent motive of actions.

Assuming these definitions, is there a coherent notion of acting from duty that makes it coextensive with acting from character?

Crossposted to [info]larvatus and [info]real_philosophy.
Comments 
8th-Aug-2008 11:54 am (UTC)
According to Kant, it is well understood that duty cannot defer to passion.

According to Kant, it is equally certain that duty cannot defer to orientation...

FTFY
9th-Aug-2008 12:35 am (UTC)
The referenced understanding proceeds from any analysis of duty independent of consequence. This idea is originally due to Socrates. Kant himself credits its modern expression as “fiat justitia pereat mundus” to Frederick the Great, though the classical form of “fiat justitia ruat cœlum” is customarily attributed to Lucius Calpurnius Piso Cæsoninus. I understand the difference between the sky falling and the world perishing, as characteristic of the opposition between the classics and the moderns.
9th-Aug-2008 01:01 am (UTC)
"I understand the difference between the sky falling and the world perishing, as characteristic of the opposition between the classics and the moderns."

I'm not sure what you mean by this, but it sounds cool.
9th-Aug-2008 01:23 am (UTC)
What little I know of this matter, I have incorporated into the Wikipedia article. In editing it, I abstained from speculating that the threat of falling skies would be especially poignant to the pagan sensibility, whereas that of the end of the world resonates with Christian notions of the Last Judgment.
8th-Aug-2008 04:09 pm (UTC)
Kantian duty is incentive free action in-of-itself from a completely autonomous position of choice, a choice made out of character is a set of familiar modes of being (hexus) that have a higher propensity of being selected because these are more repeated and a more familiar way to cope, they are also "of character" in the sense that they reflect a person.

If you want to mix kantian duty and aristotelian hexus/character formation try heidegger's for-the-sake-of-which plus zizek's study of the $ subject as being a fold. So the true "subject" of the subject is a transcendental ego, a void, a fold, so they can act out of true kantian autonomy, but how they "generally operate" is out of a heideggerian/aristotelian subjectivity, or as a particular being in the world, and how does this "void" create itself? (and exceed itself?)
9th-Aug-2008 12:19 am (UTC)
I mean to ask a basic question. Actions that proceed from passion are by definition teleological. They aim to cure a lack. This aim preempts their capacity for answering to principle regardless of anticipated outcomes. By contrast, answerability to principle is a general condition of modern deontology, as distinct e.g. from its classical theological construal in the manner of Augustine’s “Dilige, et quod vis fac.” On the other hand, by making allowances for supererogation, even the deontologist leaves room for accommodating diverse norms of character. (Here I am construing character broadly, as ἦθος rather than ἕξις.) So the duty in regard to a certain course of action may be perfect or imperfect, depending on its mandate by the agent’s character. Thus even in the absence of a conflict of duties, it is possible to accommodate individual differences of principle.
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