Single Idea 20957

[catalogued under 23. Ethics / C. Virtue Theory / 2. Elements of Virtue Theory / e. Character]

Full Idea

Nobody has chosen their character; and yet this does not stop anybody attributing the action which follows from his character to themself as a free action.

Gist of Idea

We don't choose our characters, yet we still claim credit for the actions our characters perform


Friedrich Schelling (The Ages of the World [1810], I.93)

Book Reference

Bowie,Andrew: 'Introduction to German Philosophy' [Polity 2003], p.106

A Reaction

This pinpoints a very nice ambivalence about our attitudes to our own characters. We all have some pride and shame about who we are, without having chosed who we are. At least when we are young. But we make the bed we lie in.