The Journal of Ethics 6 (3):235–259 (2002)

John J. Davenport
Fordham University
This essay evaluates John Martin Fischer and Mark Ravizza's mature semi-compatibilist account of moral responsibility, focusingon their new theory of moderate reasons-responsiveness as a model of "moral sanity." This theory, presented in _Responsibility and Control_, solves many of the problems with Fischer's earlier weak reasons-responsiveness model, such as its unwanted implication that agents who are only erratically responsive to bizarre reasons can be responsible for their acts. But I argue that the new model still faces several problems. It does not allow sufficiently for non-psychotic agents (who are largely reasons-responsive) with localized beliefs and desires incompatible with full responsibility. Nor does it take into account that practical "fragmentation of the self" over time may also reduce competence, since moral sanity requires some minimum level of narrative unity in our plans and projects. Finally, I argue that actual-sequence accounts cannot adequately explain sane but weak-willed agency.
Keywords weakness of will  akrasia  moral responsibility
Categories (categorize this paper)
Reprint years 2004
DOI 10.1023/A:1019531928562
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 63,247
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Responsibility and Control.John Martin Fischer - 1982 - Journal of Philsophy 79 (January):24-40.
Responsibility and Control.John Martin Fischer - 1982 - Journal of Philosophy 79 (1):24-40.
Responsibility and Planning.Michael E. Bratman - 1997 - The Journal of Ethics 1 (1):27-43.
Persons, Identification, and Freedom.Eleonore Stump - 1996 - Philosophical Topics 24 (2):183-214.

View all 6 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

A Problem for Guidance Control.Patrick Todd & Neal A. Tognazzini - 2008 - Philosophical Quarterly 58 (233):685-692.
Moral Responsibility and Motivational Mechanisms.James D. Steadman - 2012 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 15 (4):473 - 492.


Added to PP index

Total views
77 ( #139,082 of 2,448,492 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #449,843 of 2,448,492 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes