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Action Freedom And Responsibility A Conceptual Study

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Item Code: UBD706
Publisher: D. K. Printworld Pvt. Ltd.
Author: Subasini Barik
Language: English
Edition: 2021
ISBN: 9788124610640
Pages: 181
Other Details 9.00 X 6.00 inch
Weight 400 gm
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Book Description
About the Book

These issues and their interconnections have a significant effect the Philosophy of Value and application ethical theories in practical life. even reconstructs the conceptual connection between action and freedom, on one hand, and freedom and responsibility, also puts the concepts of determinism to critical reinterprets them from different and perspectives. The conventional doctrine karma, based on the the Bhagavadgită, relieved its usual a logically reasonable explanation offered. Human actions and human central concepts in the philosophy mind and action. Free responsibility constitute the moral life

About the Author

Dr Subasini Barik, presently an Associate Professor of Philosophy, Deshbandhu College, University of Delhi has an outstanding academic career. She obtained MPhil and PhD from University of Delhi and Utkal University and also worked as a Research Fellow of Indian Council of Philosophical Research (ICPR) and as a Research Assistant under a UGC- sponsored DSA project. A specialist in Philosophy of Action and Philosophy of Mind, she has to her credit a number of research publications in Analytic Philosophy, Philosophy of Action and Philosophy of Value. Dr Barik has translated the course book for Yoga Teacher's Training Programme (YTTP) 2019 and also has a number of publications on Jagannath culture and other fields of Odiya language to her credit. She is also an associate editor, Asiatic Society for Social Science Research (ASSSR). She has a strong passion for social service and works for the upliftment of women in distress and poor children.


ACTION, freedom and responsibility form three crucial concepts in philosophy of mind and moral philosophy. If we do everything freely - that is, if we do X when we could have done otherwise then we are responsible for what we do. This also forms the supposed foundational maxim of the Indian doctrine of karma - as you sow, so shall you reap. There is no escape from undergoing the consequences of one's actions, and this virtually points at fatalism or determinism - a queer paradox, freedom of the will leading to outright determinism! In the present book the author Dr Subasini Barik comes to grips with this problem by analysing and even reconstructing the conceptual connection between action and freedom on the one hand and that between freedom and responsibility on the other. Along with this she also puts the concepts of freedom and determinism to critical test and reinterpretation, where necessary. Actions, which inevitably are backed by conscious intention of the agent, are clearly distinct from events that are passive occurrences in nature. The agent being endowed with the essential features of value sensitivity and self-transcendence, the moral aspect of the universe cannot be denied, if action explanation is backed by the conscious intentions of the free agent. In contrast, the theory of determinism has the inevitable feature of denying this. Barik steers clear between these extremes by reinterpreting the concepts of freedom as applied to human actions and pleads for a sort of compatibilism. Actions are not to be considered in abstraction, she argues. Depending on the nature of freedom exercised in particular actions, the nature of responsibility and desert are to be explained. For although actions are done intentionally and in that sense freely, such intentional doings are often interfered with by several antecedent factors, such as external and/or internal constraints. These constraints, however, do not impede our moral judgements on actions. For example, a child brought up with meticulous care and even indoctrination for being good and doing things good, more often than not, would still be praised for doing something good and commendable. Determinism and freedom are thus compatible and action explanations are to be done accordingly. Abstraction and absolutism are philosopher's myth and cannot help explaining human actions and their accountability with reasonable logical fervour. The relation between action and freedom and also between freedom and responsibility is not of strict logical necessity, though this is a close conceptually necessary relation. Interestingly, with this sort of argumentation the author of this book seeks to review the law of karma - and that is one special feature of her analytic skill, I am happy to note. As you sow so you reap is true not only of our past actions over which we have no control, it is true also of our present actions, which are reasonably under our control. The operation of the karma doctrine is thus not only retrospective but also is significantly prospective. Accordingly, not only our present karmas but pace the injunction of the Gītā, their intended consequences also should be within our control. The absolutist-deterministic reading of the karma doctrine, thus, loses force. The agent's power of evaluation and pursuit of desire is therefore not something fixed and predictable but is open to alternatives chosen under specific situations. Fatalism or determinism is thus denied its full share in explaining actions, and freedom is salvaged in due proportion. To be sure we deserve the fruits of our actions; but from this near triviality it does not follow that we experience all that we deserve, nor that we deserve all that we experience or undergo. Karma alone is powerless in explaining desert in retributive morality.


"AN unexamined life is not worth living", observes Socrates. "You must be the change you want to see in the world", preaches Mahatma Gandhi. "Arise, awake and stop not till the goal is reached", advocates Swami Vivekananda. Reflection of these immortal statements of the great personalities leaves remarkable impact on my journey of life. All of them assure and ensure self- motivated and an introspective human intervention. Every human act involves intention. Hence, the act of publishing a research work as it is after a long gap is equally intentional and self-motivating. If any research on human doing inflicts some impact on the researcher's mind, the exercise becomes rewarding. The deliberated conceptual analysis once practised in everyday life with strong motivation reaffirms one's conviction about the effectiveness of the work. This book is a culmination of the analysis and application of three central aspects of human life: "Action", "Freedom" and "Responsibility". Being an ardent self-conscious and self-evaluative person, these concepts dragged me to the whirlpool of life that started questioning me every time before undertaking any task, simple or complex. The sense of responsibility always pushed me to a point where I could never think of anything other than offering the best in all endeavours of my life. The difficult experiences in application as well as the critical implication of these concepts in real life prompted me to put this work in print. The readers/further researchers are the real examiners of this work. At the outset I am indebted to the various sources of materials (books/journals/articles) indicated in the Bibliography and their authors, the great philosophers who have influenced me mostly to formulate my arguments for this study. I take this opportunity to express my deep sense of gratitude and indebtedness to Professor Prafulla Kumar Mohapatra, my teacher, philosopher and guide for always being a constant source of inspiration with all kind of illuminating insights and critical observations all through my academic journey that helped me to accomplish this work. He has been very kind in providing a Foreword for this book. I wish to place on record my special thanks to Prof. Roma Chakraborty, University of Calcutta, Professor Vibha Chaturvedi, University of Delhi (DU) and Professor Ramesh Pradhan, University of Hyderabad for their valuable comments and critical remarks on my work. I am highly obliged to the Chairman, Indian Council of Philosophical Research and his team for offering me the publication grant, which encouraged me to publish this long-pending work. A heartfelt gratitude to late Prof. G.K. Das, former Director South Campus, DU and former VC, Utkal University and my father late Shri Mayadhar Barik, who were my primary sources of inspiration and whose blessings really worked as the inner spirit behind this work. They would have been the happiest ones to see this work in print. I am also grateful to my teachers/mentors Professor Aditya Mohanty Professor S.K. Mohanty, Professor Ashok Vohra and late Professor Tandra Patnaik who have always been a source of inspiration in all my academic pursuits.

**Contents and Sample Pages**

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