Incompatibilism and the transfer of non-responsibility

Philosophical Studies 173 (6):1477-1495 (2016)
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Arguments for the incompatibility of determinism and moral responsibility sometimes make use of various transfer of non-responsibility principles. These principles purport to specify conditions in which lack of moral responsibility is transmitted to the consequences of things for which people are not morally responsible. In this paper, after developing what I take to be the most serious objections to extant principles of this sort, I identify and defend a new transfer of non-responsibility principle that is immune to these and other objections. This new principle says, roughly, that if you are not morally responsible for any of the circumstances that led to a particular outcome, and if you are not morally responsible for those circumstances leading to that outcome, then you are not morally responsible for the outcome either. After defending this principle against a number of objections, I use it to argue for the conclusion that no one is even partly morally responsible for anything, if determinism is true



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Justin A. Capes
Flagler College

Citations of this work

A new puppet puzzle.Andrew M. Bailey & Joshua Rasmussen - 2020 - Philosophical Explorations 23 (3):202-213.
Does the Direct Argument Beg the Question?Justin Capes - 2022 - American Philosophical Quarterly 59 (1):81-96.

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References found in this work

Responsibility and Control: A Theory of Moral Responsibility.John Martin Fischer & Mark Ravizza - 1998 - New York: Cambridge University Press. Edited by Mark Ravizza.
An Essay on Free Will.Peter Van Inwagen - 1983 - New York: Oxford University Press.
Responsibility and Control: A Theory of Moral Responsibility.John Martin Fischer - 1998 - Philosophical and Phenomenological Research 61 (2):459-466.
Semi-compatibilism and the transfer of non-responsibility.Mark Ravizza - 1994 - Philosophical Studies 75 (1-2):61-93.

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