David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Philosophical Studies 138 (3):367 - 392 (2008)
Recently, a number of philosophers have begun to question the commonly held view that choice or voluntary control is a precondition of moral responsibility. According to these philosophers, what really matters in determining a person’s responsibility for some thing is whether that thing can be seen as indicative or expressive of her judgments, values, or normative commitments. Such accounts might therefore be understood as updated versions of what Susan Wolf has called “real self views,” insofar as they attempt to ground an agent’s responsibility for her actions and attitudes in the fact (when it is a fact) that they express who she is as a moral agent. As such, they seem to be open to some of the same objections Wolf originally raised to such accounts, and in particular to the objection that they cannot license the sorts of robust moral assessments involved in our current practices of moral responsibility. My aim in this paper is to try to respond to this challenge, by clarifying the kind of robust moral assessments I take to be licensed by (at least some) non-volitional accounts of responsibility and by explaining why these assessments do not in general require the agent to have voluntary control over everything for which she is held responsible. I also argue that the limited applicability of the distinction between “bad agents” and “blameworthy agents” on these accounts is in fact a mark in their favor.
|Keywords||Responsibility Blame Moral Assessment Real Self Views Accountability Control|
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References found in this work BETA
Thomas Scanlon (1998). What We Owe to Each Other. Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
R. Jay Wallace (1996). Responsibility and the Moral Sentiments. Harvard University Press.
David Hume (1739/2000). A Treatise of Human Nature. Oxford University Press.
Susan Wolf (1990). Freedom Within Reason. Oxford University Press.
Citations of this work BETA
Matthew Talbert (2012). Moral Competence, Moral Blame, and Protest. Journal of Ethics 16 (1):89-109.
Christopher Evan Franklin (2015). Everyone Thinks That an Ability to Do Otherwise is Necessary for Free Will and Moral Responsibility. Philosophical Studies 172 (8):2091-2107.
Holly Smith (2011). Non-Tracing Cases of Culpable Ignorance. Criminal Law and Philosophy 5 (2):115-146.
Neil Levy & Michael McKenna (2009). Recent Work on Free Will and Moral Responsibility. Philosophy Compass 4 (1):96-133.
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