April 13, 2015

John Lachs on responsibility and experience

Psychic distance is a direct result of the lack of direct experience. It shows itself in our unwillingness or even inability to appropriate actions that are clearly ours. It is reinforced by the fact that intermediate men tend to hide from us the immediate and even many of the long-range consequences of our acts. Without firsthand acquaintance with his actions, even the best of humans moves in a moral vacuum: the abstract recognition of evil is neither a reliable guide nor an adequate motive…..Our psychic distance from our deeds renders us ignorant of the conditions of our existence and the outcome of our acts.”    
              John Lachs, Responsibility and the Individual in Modern Society 


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