I’m trying to think through analysis of a case-study of blame and responsibility in which moral judgement is less about ‘action’ and more about emotion or ‘affect’ – the ‘state of feeling’ among and between people.
In the Yolŋu case it seems that it is not so much ‘action effects results’ in the sense of ’cause » effect’ but more ‘affect effects action’ and that action may or may not subsequently affect the state of feeling (and thus the state of relations) among and between those involved. The thing is, at this stage of analysis, I can’t get traction on the ’cause’ or ’causes’ of the event (a conflict in this case, which that took place during my time in the field). ‘Cause’, in this case – it’s like an ink-spot of interpersonal influence and responsibility seeping and spreading through extended networks of kinship relations.
Turns out, I discovered in my thinking through reading, that ‘affect’ and ‘effect’ have a really interesting etymological relationship:
‘Affect’ is from Latin, ‘afficere’, meaning ‘act on, have influence on, to do something to,’ a verb of broad meaning from ad- ‘to’ + facere (pp. factus) ‘do.’
‘Effect is from Latin ‘efficere’, meaning ‘work out, accomplish’, which is from ex- ‘out’ + facere ‘to do’
In the Yolŋu case, however, ‘affect’ is rarely intransitive. In fact, I’d go so far as to say never.