Moral Responsibility and Mental Illness: a Call for Nuance

Neuroethics 11 (1):11-22 (2018)
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Abstract

Does having a mental disorder, in general, affect whether someone is morally responsible for an action? Many people seem to think so, holding that mental disorders nearly always mitigate responsibility. Against this Naïve view, we argue for a Nuanced account. The problem is not just that different theories of responsibility yield different verdicts about particular cases. Even when all reasonable theories agree about what's relevant to responsibility, the ways mental illness can affect behavior are so varied that a more nuanced approach is needed.

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Author Profiles

Joshua May
University of Alabama, Birmingham
Matt King
University of Alabama, Birmingham

Citations of this work

Regard for Reason in the Moral Mind.Joshua May - 2018 - New York: Oxford University Press.
Are Psychopaths Legally Insane?Anneli Jefferson & Katrina Sifferd - 2018 - European Journal of Analytic Philosophy 14 (1):79-96.
Agency in Mental Illness and Cognitive Disability.Dominic Murphy & Natalia Washington - 2022 - In Manuel Vargas & John Doris (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Moral Psychology. Oxford, U.K.: Oxford University Press. pp. 893-910.
Précis of Neuroethics.Joshua May - forthcoming - Philosophy and the Mind Sciences.

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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.
Freedom and Resentment.Peter Strawson - 1962 - Proceedings of the British Academy 48:187-211.
Freedom of the will and the concept of a person.Harry G. Frankfurt - 1971 - Journal of Philosophy 68 (1):5-20.
Responsibility and the Moral Sentiments.R. Jay Wallace - 1994 - Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.
The Significance of Free Will.Robert Kane - 1996 - New York, US: Oxford University Press USA.

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