Ultimate Responsibility (UR) is Robert Kane
's concept that we can be responsible for current actions, ones that are essentially determined
(this can only be adequate determinism
, of course) by our character and values, as long as we formed that character ourselves by earlier free actions that he calls Self-Forming Actions.
(SFAs) are free actions in the distant past that contribute to our character and values. When we act out of habit today, we trace
the Ultimate Responsibility
(UR) for those actions back to those SFAs. Although current habitual actions may seem (adequately
) determined, they are still self-determined
and thus free.
is the idea of a positive freedom
, a freedom for
actions that we originate
, actions that are up to us
. "Up to us" (in Greek, ἐφ' ἡμῖν) was the phrase used by Aristotle
for human freedom.
Such acts constitute the essence of Free Will
. Self-Determination is one of Mortimer Adler
's terms in his great compilation work The Idea of Freedom
, along with Self-Perfection
is the idea that new causal chains
can begin with an agent, something that is not pre
determined to happen by events prior to the agent's deliberation (between alternative possibilities
) and decision. Origination accounts for human creativity
is "dismayed" because the truth of determinism requires that we give up "origination" with its promise of an open future. For him, limiting freedom to classical compatibilist voluntarism
means we are not the authors of our own actions.
They are not "up to us
Kane's Ultimate Responsibility (UR) restores the case for self-determination and origination and makes our actions up to us