Putting the lie on the control condition for moral responsibility

Philosophical Studies 139 (1):29 - 37 (2008)
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In “Control, Responsibility, and Moral Assessment” Angela Smith defends her nonvoluntarist theory of moral responsibility against the charge that any such view is shallow because it cannot capture the depth of judgments of responsibility. Only voluntarist positions can do this since only voluntarist positions allow for control. I argue that Smith is able to deflect the voluntarists’ criticism, but only with further resources. As a voluntarist, I also concede that Smith’s thesis has force, and I close with a compromise position, one that allows for direct moral responsibility for the nonvoluntary, but also incorporates a reasonable control condition.



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Michael McKenna
University of Arizona

References found in this work

What we owe to each other.Thomas Scanlon - 1998 - Cambridge, Mass.: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
Responsibility and the Moral Sentiments.R. Jay Wallace - 1994 - Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.
What We Owe to Each Other.Thomas Scanlon - 2002 - Mind 111 (442):323-354.
Freedom Within Reason.Susan R. Wolf - 1990 - New York: Oup Usa.
Two Faces of Responsibility.Gary Watson - 1996 - Philosophical Topics 24 (2):227-248.

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