By Derrida Jacques
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Additional resources for Lyotard and Us
Aristotle’s picture of character development, then, is a gradual one, which only eventually leads to settled and strong dispositions. It is only once an agent’s character is firmly established that we can depend on him to act consistently and predictably in a variety of situations. The person with the morally developed character is the virtuous agent. We can expect of the virtuous agent that he will have settled dispositions to act in accordance with the virtues and do so in the face of great difficulty and temptation.
The agent may have knowledge, but may not be conscious of it, or be consciously reflecting on it. 2. The agent may be exercising his knowledge of the universal premise, but not of the particular; and as actions concern themselves with particulars, he fails to act. 3. An agent may both have and not have knowledge because of the influence of the passions, in the same way as someone who is asleep or drunk has and does not have knowledge. 4. 11 These passages in the Nicomachean Ethics are particularly complicated and the subject of intense speculation, but I want to take the following idea from them: knowledge of what is right comes gradually and increases in strength with the passage of time and the accumulation of experience.
For Kant, our ability to reason as autonomous human beings is entirely immune to luck, that is available to all equally, no matter what their constitution, background or experience, available at any moment in time, despite previous history or entrenched character traits, and offering a solution to any moral problem, no matter how difficult. 22 Morality, Moral Luck and Responsibility Situational luck, discounted by Kant, plays an important role in the Aristotelian moral picture. The problem posed by situational luck was highlighted by Nagel: What we do is also limited by the opportunities and choices with which we are faced, and these are largely determined by factors beyond our control.