When Manipulation Gets Personal

Australasian Journal of Philosophy 94 (3):464-478 (2016)
Many accounts of moral responsibility have emerged recently that question the importance of conscious choice for moral responsibility. Instead of this ‘volitional’ requirement, these ‘attributionist’ accounts claim that agents are responsible for their actions when their actions reflect who they are and what they value. This paper argues that attributionist accounts are too quick to dismiss the connection between volition and moral responsibility. By excising conscious control from their accounts, attributionists leave open the undesirable possibility that an agent may fulfil all necessary conditions for moral responsibility even when she is under the conscious control of another person. Through analyzing situations in which attributionist conditions for moral responsibility are met while an agent is controlled by someone else, the link between an agent's volition and her moral responsibility becomes more apparent.
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DOI 10.1080/00048402.2015.1104367
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What We Owe to Each Other.Thomas Scanlon - 1998 - Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
Causality: Models, Reasoning, and Inference.Judea Pearl - 2000 - Cambridge University Press.
Control, Responsibility, and Moral Assessment.Angela M. Smith - 2008 - Philosophical Studies 138 (3):367 - 392.
Unprincipled Virtue.Nomy Arpaly - 2003 - The Journal of Ethics 8 (2):201-204.

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