Antonello La Vergata


  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: responsibility, irresponsibility, ethics, consciousness, emotions, human nature.

Philosophical definitions and re-definitions of responsibility hardly give us a reliable explanation of why we actually criticise or condemn some people or actions as irresponsible. Things become even more complicated when we talk about responsibility towards nature, environment, and future generations. Generalisations, edifying sermons, philosophical hair-splitting tend to neglect the subjective, emotional and affective components of our nature. Yet, it is these components that drive and feed our reactions to irresponsibility and, by contrast, fuel our so-called sense of responsibility, whatever rational formulation we give to it. The main question, then, is not «What is responsibility?», but «Why do some of us react to what we variously describe as irresponsibile»? The answer can only come from further studies of that elusive thing, human nature, from an evolutionary point of view.

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