Bioethics 32 (1):43-49 (2018)

Authors
Kenneth A. Richman
Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences
Abstract
Whether to treat autism as exculpatory in any given circumstance appears to be influenced both by models of autism and by theories of moral responsibility. This article looks at one particular combination of theories: autism as theory of mind challenges and moral responsibility as requiring appropriate experience of the reactive attitudes. In pursuing this particular combination of ideas, we do not intend to endorse them. Our goal is, instead, to explore the implications of this combination of especially prominent ideas about autism and about moral responsibility. These implications can be quite serious and practical for autists and those who interact directly with autists, as well as for broader communities as they attend to the fair, compassionate, and respectful treatment of increasing numbers of autistic adults. We find that these theories point to a limited range of situations in which autists should not be blamed for transgressive actions for which neurotypical individuals should be blamed. We build on what others have written on these issues by bringing in a recent cognitive model of the role theory of mind plays in empathy, by discussing the social implications of the theoretical findings, and by raising questions about the compatibility of reactive attitude theories of moral responsibility with the neurodiversity approach to autism.
Keywords autism  cognitive models  empathy  moral responsibility  neurodiversity  reactive attitudes  theory of mind
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1111/bioe.12370
Options
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: 71,489
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

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Instrumentalism About Moral Responsibility Revisited.Anneli Jefferson - 2019 - Philosophical Quarterly 69 (276):555-573.
The Ethics of Autism.Kristien Hens, Ingrid Robeyns & Katrien Schaubroeck - 2019 - Philosophy Compass 14 (1):e12559.

View all 7 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Autism, Empathy and Questions of Moral Agency.Timothy Krahn & Andrew Fenton - 2009 - Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour 39 (2):145-166.
Reflections on 'Autistic Integrity'.Barbara Russell - 2012 - Bioethics 26 (3):164-170.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2017-09-16

Total views
51 ( #224,404 of 2,520,805 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
5 ( #137,490 of 2,520,805 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes