Being in the world

Ratio 23 (4):433-452 (2010)
Actions for which we are responsible constitute our engagement with the world as rational agents. What is the relationship between such actions and our capacities for rational agency? I take this to be a question about responsibility in a particular use of that term, which I shall call ‘responsibility2’. We are not responsible2 for all our intentional actions (actions under hypnosis, for example), but we can nevertheless be responsible2 for actions we do not adequately control, for negligent actions, and for non-intentional omissions. Appreciating this helps show that familiar principles of responsibility are false: those which delimit responsibility to intentional actions or to actions and outcomes under our control. In the attempt to fashion an alternative principle, cases of negligence prove pivotal. We hold ourselves and others responsible2 for conduct within our respective ‘domains of secure competence’, (i.e. that within which we are confident of doing what we set ourselves to do, barring events which defeat our competence), even when actions within that domain fail. The significance of this practice of holding ourselves and others responsible2 lies in the way it maintains our sense of who we are and of how we are related to the world in which we act.1
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1111/j.1467-9329.2010.00477.x
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 23,201
External links
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.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Rosalind Hursthouse (1991). Arational Actions. Journal of Philosophy 88 (2):57-68.
Rob Vanderbeeken (2006). Can Intentional and Functional Explanations of Actions Coexist? The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy 9:143-147.

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

143 ( #29,296 of 1,940,983 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

3 ( #272,533 of 1,940,983 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.