Responsibility - Beyond Resentment and Indignation

Philosophia 47 (4):995-1009 (2019)
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Abstract

My aim in this article is to flesh out a new distinction between moral responsibility, as it is understood in light of Strawson’s “reactive attitudes,” and an institutional form of responsibility—a responsibility that employees bear for their work to their superiors. I show that Strawson’s view of responsibility is separate from organizational responsibility, and hence the responsibility of employees to their managers cannot be understood in terms of indignation or resentment, both of which are key Strawsonian concepts. The latter type of responsibility can be understood in terms of objective attitudes, managerial demands, organizational standards, and related expectations. Based on a Cartesian and a Wittgensteinian notions of asymmetry between first- and third-person uses of psychological concepts, Strawson developed a view of responsibility that dissolves the above asymmetry. In contrast with the latter asymmetry, which focuses on those who ascribe psychological concepts to themselves and to others, Strawson’s view is centered on the recipients of reactive attitudes. According to his view, resentment and indignation differ because they are aimed at different recipients, something that cannot be applied in cases of organizational responsibility.

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Robert Albin
Sapir College

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References found in this work

Individuals: An Essay in Descriptive Metaphysics.Peter F. Strawson - 1959 - London, England: Routledge. Edited by Wenfang Wang.
Responsibility and the Moral Sentiments.R. Jay Wallace - 1994 - Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.
Individuals: An Essay in Descriptive Metaphysics.Peter Frederick Strawson - 1959 - London, England: Routledge. Edited by Wenfang Wang.
Précis of Responsibility and the Moral Sentiments.R. Jay Wallace - 2002 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 64 (3):680-681.

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