Commitment

Who we are is mainly constituted by on the one hand, the practical and epistemic commitments we actually live by, and that are implicit in our words and deeds; and on the other, our track record of responsibility in keeping our words and deeds in line. These together make up what Aristotle called our ethos (root of “ethics”, commonly translated as “character” or “culture”). Appraisals of such things are subject to standards of interpretive charity and reasonableness. Since this has to do purely with what we actually say and do, it does not depend on any extravagant assumptions about free will or exemption from natural causality. (See also Reasons; Ends; Choice, Deliberation; Practical Judgment; Error; Honesty, Kindness; Intellectual Virtue, Love; Rational/Talking Animal.)