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Stuart Brown and Rosalind Hursthouse, both lecturers in philosophy at the Open University, discuss the kind of problems of moral responsibility that arise in everyday life and analyse the philosop...hic concepts underlying such a discussion. They use as examples the ideas about juvenile delinquency put forward in a song from West Side Story.
Metadata describing this Open University video programme
Module code and title: A101, An arts foundation course
Item code: A101; 13
First transmission date: 17-05-1978
Published: 1978
Rights Statement:
Restrictions on use:
Duration: 00:23:52
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Producer: Patricia Hodgson
Contributors: Stuart Brown; Rosalind Hursthouse
Publisher: BBC Open University
Keyword(s): Morality; Philosophy; 'West Side Story'
Footage description: The programme begins with the song "Gee Officer Krupke" from West Side Story, which is illustrated by an animated cartoon. Rosalind Hursthouse explains that the song raises issues relevant to the study of philosophy. She argues that philosophy is relevant to every day life, and relates the issues raised in the song to the question of free will. Stuart Brown uses extracts from the song to explore two theories about juvenile delinquency: firstly that it's caused by social problems; secondly that it's the responsibility solely of the delinquents. He uses an animated diagram to contrast these 'medical' and 'punitive'. Hursthouse defines Determinism and describes its 17th century origins. She uses film of balls moving in a bagatelle board to explain the application of Determinism to the behaviour of inanimate objects. She then applies it to human actions and explains how a determinism would view the problem of delinquency described in the song. As an example of an extreme determinist stance she quotes the views of 1920s American lawyer Clarence Darrow, who believed solely in causal explanations for crime. Brown gives his own views on the problem of the moral responsibility of delinquents. He explains that complete determinism and free will are incompatible and argues that there is an element of free will in the actions of the song's delinguents. He maintains that some actions are causally determined, some freely chosen. Hursthouse continues Brown's line of argument and suggest a means of reconciling determinism and free will in human actions. She concludes the programme by suggesting further lines of enquiry for students to pursue. Repeat of part of "Gee Office Krupke".
Master spool number: 6HT/72664
Production number: 00525_3328
Videofinder number: 2603
Available to public: no