Philosophical Studies 170 (2):317-334 (2014)

Benjamin Matheson
Universitat de Valencia
Compatibilists disagree over whether there are historical conditions on moral responsibility. Historicists claim there are, whilst structuralists deny this. Historicists motivate their position by claiming to avoid the counter-intuitive implications of structuralism. I do two things in this paper. First, I argue that historicism has just as counter-intuitive implications as structuralism when faced with thought experiments inspired by those found in the personal identity literature. Hence, historicism is not automatically preferable to structuralism. Second, I argue that structuralism is much more plausible once we accept that personal identity is irrelevant to moral responsibility. This paves the way for a new structuralist account that makes clear what it takes to be the diachronic ownership condition (which is normally taken to be personal identity) and the locus of moral responsibility (which is normally taken to be ‘whole’ person), and helps to alleviate the intuitive unease many have with respect to structuralism
Keywords Manipulation  Moral responsibility  Historicism  Structuralism  Personal identity  Compatibilism
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s11098-013-0220-9
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: 69,078
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Reasons and Persons.Derek Parfit - 1984 - Oxford University Press.
Freedom of the Will and the Concept of a Person.Harry G. Frankfurt - 1971 - Journal of Philosophy 68 (1):5-20.
Living Without Free Will.Derk Pereboom - 2001 - Cambridge University Press.
Free Will and Luck.Alfred R. Mele - 2006 - Oxford University Press.

View all 36 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Is Blameworthiness Forever?Andrew C. Khoury & Benjamin Matheson - 2018 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 4 (2):204-224.
Moral Responsibility.Andrew Eshleman - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
In Defence of the Four-Case Argument.Benjamin Matheson - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (7):1963-1982.
Towards a Structural Ownership Condition on Moral Responsibility.Benjamin Matheson - 2019 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 49 (4):458-480.
The Threat From Manipulation Arguments.Benjamin Matheson - 2018 - American Philosophical Quarterly 55 (1):37-50.

View all 11 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Implanted Desires, Self-Formation and Blame.Matthew Talbert - 2009 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 3 (2):1-18.
Synchronic and Diachronic Responsibility.Andrew C. Khoury - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 165 (3):735-752.
Compatibele Persoonlijke Autonomie: Structuralisme Versus Historicisme.E. Cuypers - 2000 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 62 (2):283 - 312.
Am I My Brother's Keeper? On Personal Identity and Responsibility.Simon Beck - 2013 - South African Journal of Philosophy 32 (1):1-9.
Manipulation and Mitigation.Andrew C. Khoury - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 168 (1):283-294.
Advance Directives and Personal Identity: What Is the Problem?E. Furberg - 2012 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 37 (1):60-73.
A New Approach to Manipulation Arguments.Patrick Todd - 2011 - Philosophical Studies 152 (1):127-133.
Memory and Identity.Marya Schechtman - 2011 - Philosophical Studies 153 (1):65-79.
Personal Identity and Education for the Desirable.Mordecai Nisan - 1996 - Journal of Moral Education 25 (1):75-83.


Added to PP index

Total views
120 ( #96,199 of 2,498,946 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
3 ( #210,368 of 2,498,946 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes