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Freedom and Limits$
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John Lachs and Patrick Shade

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780823256747

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823256747.001.0001

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Public Benefit, Private Cost

Public Benefit, Private Cost

Chapter:
(p.173) Twelve Public Benefit, Private Cost
Source:
Freedom and Limits
Author(s):

Patrick Shade

John Lachs

Publisher:
Fordham University Press
DOI:10.5422/fordham/9780823256747.003.0014

Lachs explains costs and benefits in reference to the notion of a unified act, since mediation necessarily breaks up the unity of an act. In simple single-agent acts, the act is a continuous process of initiation (defined by intention), performance, and enjoyment (or suffering). This tripartite unity provides a context for understanding liberty and responsibility, since liberty is the unity of intention and act, while responsibility concerns the act and its consequences. The dismemberment of an act created by mediation generates problems for both. Mediation on a large scale results in each individual performing an act-fragment in ignorance of the act's other parts. Removal from decisions that initiate acts leads to impotence and passivity on the part of actors, thereby curtailing liberty. Distance from the consequences of our actions breeds indifference and irresponsibility. Lachs proposes reimmediation as a means of overcoming these costs. His proposals—including the educative efforts of leaders—are modest but require continuous effort in a world in which mediation is ubiquitous.

Keywords:   Mediation, Action, Consequences

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