European Journal of Philosophy 26 (4):1381-1397 (2018)

Rachel Fredericks
Ball State University
I argue that we are sometimes morally responsible for having and using (or not using) our concepts, despite the fact that we generally do not choose to have them or have full or direct voluntary control over how we use them. I do so by extending an argument of Angela Smith's; the same features that she says make us morally responsible for some of our attitudes also make us morally responsible for some of our concepts. Specifically, like attitudes, concepts can be (a) conceptually and rationally connected to our evaluative judgments, (b) in principle subject to rational revision (reasons‐responsive), and (c) the basis for actual and potential moral assessments of people that we have good reasons to endorse. Thus, we are open to moral appraisal on the basis of having and using (or not using) our concepts when they reflect our evaluative judgments, though even then it is not always appropriate to praise or blame us on that basis.
Keywords concepts  moral responsibility  attitudes  Angela Smith
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1111/ejop.12376
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

References found in this work BETA

What We Owe to Each Other.Thomas Scanlon - 1998 - Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
The Significance of Free Will.Robert Kane - 1996 - Oxford University Press USA.
What We Owe to Each Other.Thomas Scanlon - 2002 - Mind 111 (442):323-354.

View all 50 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Racism as Civic Vice.Jeremy Fischer - 2021 - Ethics 131 (3):539-570.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Attitudes, Tracing, and Control.Angela M. Smith - 2015 - Journal of Applied Philosophy 32 (2):115-132.
Attitudes, Agency, and Responsibility.Angela Marie Smith - 1999 - Dissertation, Harvard University
On Being Responsible and Holding Responsible.Angela M. Smith - 2007 - The Journal of Ethics 11 (4):465-484.
Responsibility as Answerability.Angela M. Smith - 2015 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 58 (2):99-126.
Thick Concepts and Holism About Reasons.Andrew Sneddon - 2010 - Journal of Value Inquiry 44 (4):461-468.
Control, Responsibility, and Moral Assessment.Angela M. Smith - 2008 - Philosophical Studies 138 (3):367 - 392.
Blame, Communication, and Morally Responsible Agency.Coleen Macnamara - 2015 - In Randolph Clarke, Michael McKenna & Angela Smith (eds.), The Nature of Moral Responsibility: New Essays. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 211-236.
The Unity of Moral Attitudes: Recipe Semantics and Credal Exaptation.Derek Shiller - 2018 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 48 (3-4):425-446.
Incompatibilism and the Transfer of Non-Responsibility.Justin Capes - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (6):1477-1495.
Verantwortung und Sanktion.Andras Szigeti - 2013 - In Buddeberg Eva & Vesper Achim (eds.), Moral und Sanktion. Campus.


Added to PP index

Total views
503 ( #13,290 of 2,421,640 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
77 ( #9,128 of 2,421,640 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes