Omissions, Responsibility, and Symmetry

Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 82 (3):594-624 (2011)
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Abstract

It is widely held that one can be responsible for doing something that one was unable to avoid doing. This paper focuses primarily on the question of whether one can be responsible for not doing something that one was unable to do. The paper begins with an examination of the account of responsibility for omissions offered by John Martin Fischer and Mark Ravizza, arguing that in many cases it yields mistaken verdicts. An alternative account is sketched that jibes with and explains judgments about a variety of omissions cases, including intentional omissions as well as simple failures to act.

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Author's Profile

Randolph Clarke
Florida State University

Citations of this work

What is an omission?Randolph Clarke - 2012 - Philosophical Issues 22 (1):127-143.
A challenge for Frankfurt-style compatibilists.Philip Swenson - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (5):1279-1285.
Absence of action.Randolph Clarke - 2012 - Philosophical Studies 158 (2):361-376.
The Frankfurt Cases and Responsibility for Omissions.Philip Swenson - 2016 - Philosophical Quarterly 66 (264):579-595.

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References found in this work

What we owe to each other.Thomas Scanlon - 1998 - Cambridge: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
Responsibility and Control: A Theory of Moral Responsibility.John Martin Fischer & Mark Ravizza - 1998 - New York: Cambridge University Press. Edited by Mark Ravizza.
Alternate Possibilities and Moral Responsibility.Harry G. Frankfurt - 1969 - Journal of Philosophy 66 (23):829-839.
An essay concerning human understanding.John Locke - 1689 - New York: Oxford University Press. Edited by Pauline Phemister.

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