David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Philosophic Exchange 33:19-34 (2002)
In a recent article Gary Watson instructively distinguishes two faces or aspects of responsibility. The first is the self-disclosing sense, which is concerned centrally with aretaic or excellence-relevant evaluations of agents. An agent is responsible for an action in this respect when it is an action that is inescapably the agent’s own, if, as a declaration of her adopted ends, it expresses what the agent is about, her identity as an agent. An action for which the agent is responsible in this sense expresses what the agent is ready to stand up for, to defend, to affirm, to answer for. (1996: 233-4) . The second face of responsibility has perhaps had a more explicit role in debates about free will — it concerns control and accountability. Watson argues that when one is skeptical about the second "accountability" face, one need not also be skeptical about responsibility as self-disclosure. I agree, and in my view, this helps us see why maintaining that determinism precludes accountability need not also commit one to the view that determinism precludes responsibility in a way that threatens meaning in life. Part of the reason for this is that when responsibility as accountability is undermined, less of what we deem valuable needs to be relinquished than often believed. But in addition, it turns out that the kind of accountability precluded by determinism is not nearly as important to what is most significant in human life as is responsibility as self-disclosure. Indeed, it may be that an unfortunate fusing of these two notions underlies the concern that if determinism imperils accountability, it also threatens what most fundamentally makes our lives meaningful
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
Neil Levy (2013). The Importance of Awareness. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 91 (2):221-229.
Neil Levy (2012). Skepticism and Sanction: The Benefits of Rejecting Moral Responsibility. Law and Philosophy 31 (5):477-493.
Similar books and articles
Daniel Cohen (2006). Openness, Accidentality and Responsibility. Philosophical Studies 127 (3):581 - 597.
Derk Pereboom (2003). Source Incompatibilism and Alternative Possibilities. In Michael S. McKenna & David Widerker (eds.), Freedom, Responsibility, and Agency: Essays on the Importance of Alternative Possibilities. Ashgate. 184--199.
Meghan Griffith (2007). Freedom and Trying: Understanding Agent-Causal Exertions. [REVIEW] Acta Analytica 22 (1):16-28.
Benjamin Vilhauer (2010). The Scope of Responsibility in Kant's Theory of Free Will. British Journal for the History of Philosophy 18 (1):45-71.
John Martin Fischer & Mark Ravizza (eds.) (1993). Perspectives on Moral Responsibility. Cornell University Press.
Galen Strawson (1989). Consciousness, Free Will, and the Unimportance of Determinism. Inquiry 32 (March):3-27.
Ishtiyaque Haji (1998). Moral Appraisability: Puzzles, Proposals, and Perplexities. Oxford University Press.
Susanne Bobzien (2006). Moral Responsibility and Moral Development in Epicurus’ Philosophy. In B. Reis & S. Haffmans (eds.), The Virtuous Life in Greek Ethics. CUP.
Derk Pereboom (2005). Defending Hard Incompatibilism. Midwest Studies in Philosophy 29 (1):228-247.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads75 ( #18,151 of 1,100,913 )
Recent downloads (6 months)3 ( #116,144 of 1,100,913 )
How can I increase my downloads?