On the importance of history for responsible agency

Philosophical Studies 127 (3):351-382 (2006)
In this article I propose a resolution to the history issue for responsible agency, given a moderate revisionist approach to responsibility. Roughly, moderate revisionism is the view that a plausible and normatively adequate theory of responsibility will require principled departures from commonsense thinking. The history issue is whether morally responsible agency – that is, whether an agent is an apt target of our responsibility-characteristic practices and attitudes – is an essentially historical notion. Some have maintained that responsible agents must have particular sorts of histories, others have argued that no such history is required. Resolution of this contentious issue is connected to a wide range of concerns, including the significance and culpability of different forms of manipulation, the plausibility of important incompatibilist criticisms of compatibilism, and of course, a satisfactory account of moral responsibility. As it turns out, history matters sometimes, but less frequently than we might think.
Keywords Agency  Compatibilism  History  Metaphysics  Morality  Responsibility
Categories (categorize this paper)
 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: 16,667
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

View all 40 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
John M. Doris (2009). Skepticism About Persons. Philosophical Issues 19 (1):57-91.
Alfred R. Mele (2009). Moral Responsibility and History Revisited. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 12 (5):463 - 475.

View all 14 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

54 ( #63,378 of 1,726,249 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

14 ( #50,975 of 1,726,249 )

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.