If I were asked to put forward an ethical principle which I considered to be especially certain, it would be that no one can be responsible, in the properly ethical sense, for the conduct of another. Responsibility belongs essentially to the individual. The implications of this principle are much more far-reaching than is evident at first, and reflection upon them may lead many to withdraw the assent which they might otherwise be very ready to accord to this view of responsibility. (...) But if the difficulties do appear to be insurmountable, and that, very certainly, does not seem to me to be the case, then the proper procedure will be, not to revert to the barbarous notion of collective or group responsibility, but to give up altogether the view that we are accountable in any distinctively moral sense. (shrink)
This book, originally published in 1963 provides a sample of the criticisms of philosophers on the course of linguistic philosophy. A chronological ordr is followed, with work ranging from that of traditionalist thinkers to second thoughts about linguistic philosophy on the part of writers who have been influenced by the movement.
The article is a discussion of plato and aristotle's conceptions of the good and greek ethics in general. The author compares this view with our own. He points out that "our freedom is also conformity to law" and moral evil is "guilt" for violating the law, whereas the greeks saw it as an imperfection or shortcoming of the individual to live up to his or her potential for good. The author concludes that if we "think of moral wickedness as violation (...) of a law or imperative, we must not content ourselves with the freedom which matters most on a greek view of ethics." (staff). (shrink)
First published in 1962, Freedom and History expresses a deep concern about freedom and the way it is imperilled by misunderstandings. Professor Lewis examines works of T.H. Green and compares Green with Locke and Rousseau.