Conscious Will, Reason-Responsiveness, and Moral Responsibility

Journal of Ethics 17 (3):205-232 (2013)
Empirical evidence challenges many of the assumptions that underlie traditional philosophical and commonsense conceptions of human agency. It has been suggested that this evidence threatens also to undermine free will and moral responsibility. In this paper, I will focus on the purported threat to moral responsibility. The evidence challenges assumptions concerning the ability to exercise conscious control and to act for reasons. This raises an apparent challenge to moral responsibility as these abilities appear to be necessary for morally responsible agency. I will argue that this challenge collapses once the underlying conditions on moral responsibility are specified in sufficient detail. I will argue, in other words, that the empirical evidence does not support a challenge to the assumption that we are, in general, morally responsible agents. In the final section, I will suggest that empirical research on human agency is nevertheless relevant to various questions about moral responsibility
Keywords Moral responsibility  Conscious control  Automaticity  Reason-responsiveness  Situationism  Philosophy of cognitive science
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s10892-013-9143-0
 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 Markus E. Schlosser, Conscious Will, Reason-Responsiveness, and Moral Responsibility
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
Thomas Scanlon (1998). What We Owe to Each Other. Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.

View all 43 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Neil Levy (2012). A Role for Consciousness After All. Journal of Moral Philosophy 9 (2):255-264.
Neil Levy (2007). The Responsibility of the Psychopath Revisited. Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Psychology 14 (2):pp. 129-138.
James D. Steadman (2012). Moral Responsibility and Motivational Mechanisms. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 15 (4):473 - 492.

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

516 ( #2,471 of 1,932,465 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

86 ( #2,903 of 1,932,465 )

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.