David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Philosophical Explorations 15 (1):47-61 (2012)
I argue that it is possible to prevent (and to be praiseworthy for preventing) an unwelcome outcome that had no chance of occurring. I motivate this position by constructing examples in which it makes sense to explain the non-occurrence of a certain outcome by referring to a particular agent's intentional and willing behavior, and yet the non-occurrence of the outcome in question was ensured by factors external to the agent. I conclude that even if the non-occurrence of an unwelcome outcome is ensured, the agent whose action explains this non-occurrence is praiseworthy for preventing the outcome. My examples are similar in important respects to Frankfurt-type cases. In the second half of the paper, I discuss the relationship between my examples and Frankfurt-type cases involving both actions and omissions. I conclude that while I may be responsible for the consequences of an action even if those consequences are unavoidable, this is not necessarily so for the consequences of omissions
|Keywords||Prevention Responsibility for Consequences Responsibility for Omissions Frankfurt Cases|
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References found in this work BETA
Harry G. Frankfurt (1969). Alternate Possibilities and Moral Responsibility. Journal of Philosophy 66 (3):829-39.
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