The Encomium of Helen and moral responsibility

Translated title of the contribution: The Encomium of Helen and moral responsibility

Javier Echenique

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


In his Encomium of Helen, Gorgias provides us with a variety of arguments in order to show that Helen was not to be held accountable for having eloped with Paris. The main thesis advanced in this article is that these arguments, despite their apparent diversity, are given a unitary structure by the concept of force, and by the analogy that Gorgias estalishes between persuasion, the emotions, and sense-perception on the one hand, and this concept on the other. If this argument is successful, it shows that practically none of our actions are such that we are morally responsible for them. I discuss the cogency of this argument in connection with Aristotle's objections to it.

Translated title of the contributionThe Encomium of Helen and moral responsibility
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35-50
Number of pages16
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes


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