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    #1

    depend upon the overall complexion of ones mind, not on the metaphysics

    I checked out the definition of metaphysics, which states as the philosophical study of being and knowing. Isn't the definition exactly the overall complexion of ones mind?

    Thus how to understand the meaning of "Judgments of responsibility, therefore, depend upon the overall complexion of ones mind, not on the metaphysics of mental cause and effect"?
    -----------------------

    What does it really mean to take responsibility for an action? For instance,
    yesterday I went to the market; as it turns out, I was fully clothed, did not steal anything, and did not buy anchovies. To say that I was responsible for my behavior is simply to say that what I did was sufficiently in keeping with my thoughts, intentions, beliefs, and desires to be considered an extension of them. If, on the other hand, I had found myself standing in the market naked, intent upon stealing as many tins of anchovies as I could carry, this behavior would be totally out of character; I would feel that I was not in my right mind, or that I was otherwise not responsible for my actions. Judgments of responsibility, therefore, depend upon the overall complexion of ones mind, not on the metaphysics of mental cause and effect.

    -Sam Harris

  1. Piscean's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: depend upon the overall complexion of ones mind, not on the metaphysics

    The writer is suggesting that judging responsibility involves the whole mind, not just understanding mental cause and effect.

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    #3

    Re: depend upon the overall complexion of ones mind, not on the metaphysics

    Quote Originally Posted by Piscean View Post
    The writer is suggesting that judging responsibility involves the whole mind, not just understanding mental cause and effect.
    I got it clearer, but not crystal clear.

    Did he mean "mental cause and effect" is just one aspect, the physical structure of the brain is another?

  2. konungursvia's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: depend upon the overall complexion of ones mind, not on the metaphysics

    I think you can compare his antithesis to Blaise Pascal's dichotomy between the geometric mind (logical, deductive), and mental finesse (intuition, weighing the relationship between the parts and the whole, relying on all of your memories and experience).

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    #5

    Re: depend upon the overall complexion of ones mind, not on the metaphysics

    My understanding got improved.
    But it still appears a bit elusive.

  3. Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: depend upon the overall complexion of ones mind, not on the metaphysics

    His decision on whether to steal the anchovies was not based on how easy or hard it would be. It was based on the fact that he's not a thief.

    He should have just said that.
    I'm not a teacher. I speak American English. I've tutored writing at the University of Southern Maine and have done a good deal of copy editing and writing, occasionally for publication.

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    #7

    Re: depend upon the overall complexion of ones mind, not on the metaphysics

    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie Bernstein View Post
    His decision on whether to steal the anchovies was not based on how easy or hard it would be. It was based on the fact that he's not a thief.

    He should have just said that.
    I failed to get it well.

    Does "the overall complexion of one’s mind" include the structure of his physical brain?

  4. Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: depend upon the overall complexion of ones mind, not on the metaphysics

    Quote Originally Posted by GoodTaste View Post
    I still don't get it.

    Does "the overall complexion of one’s mind" include the structure of his physical brain?
    No. They physical structure of his brain is gray, lumpy, congealed oatmeal, just like your brain and my brain.

    His mind's "complexion" is his attitudes, leanings, habits, character, feelings. He's saying he doesn't steal because it's not who he is, it's not how his mind works.
    I'm not a teacher. I speak American English. I've tutored writing at the University of Southern Maine and have done a good deal of copy editing and writing, occasionally for publication.

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