Self-Manipulation and Moral Responsibility

Teorema: International Journal of Philosophy 42 (3):107-129 (2023)
  Copy   BIBTEX


In this paper, I first argue that sometimes freely and knowingly manipulating oneself does not fully preserve moral responsibility – namely, in cases of practically distinct self-manipulation. However, I argue that practically distinct self-manipulation preserves moral responsibility to some extent because such a self-manipulated person is more morally responsibility than an other-manipulated person. This is an important result: manipulating oneself doesn’t always fully preserve one’s moral responsibility for one’s actions. But in what sense is the self-manipulated person more morally responsible? I argue the self-manipulated person is not a fitting target of the reactive attitudes but continues to have wrongdoing-incurred reparative obligations. This explains the intuitive judgement about the self-manipulated person, provides a better explanation of “tracing” cases, and reveals important requirements for a plausible theory of moral responsibility.



External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles


Added to PP

237 (#89,046)

6 months
128 (#33,819)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Benjamin Matheson
University of Bern

Citations of this work

Blameworthiness is Terminable.Benjamin Matheson - forthcoming - Philosophical Quarterly.

Add more citations

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.
Moral dimensions: permissibility, meaning, blame.Thomas Scanlon - 2008 - Cambridge, Mass.: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
Causation and Free Will.Carolina Sartorio - 2016 - Oxford, United Kingdom: Oxford University Press UK.
Articulating an uncompromising forgiveness.Pamela Hieronymi - 2001 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 62 (3):529-555.
The self and the future.Bernard Williams - 1970 - Philosophical Review 79 (2):161-180.

View all 24 references / Add more references