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Causal Proportions and Moral Responsibility

In David Shoemaker (ed.), Oxford Studies in Agency and Responsibility, Volume 4. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 165-182 (2017)

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  1. Deviant Causation and the Law.Sara Bernstein - manuscript
    A gunman intends to shoot and kill Victim. He shoots and misses his target, but the gunshot startles a group of water buffalo, causing them to trample the victim to death. The gunman brings about the intended effect, Victim’s death, but in a “deviant” way rather than the one planned. This paper argues that such causal structures, deviant causal chains, pose serious problems for several key legal concepts. -/- I show that deviant causal chains pose problems for the legal distinction (...)
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  • Causal Contribution.Alex Kaiserman - 2016 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 116 (3):387-394.
    Are there ‘degrees of causation’? Yes and no: causation is not a scalar relation, but different causes can contribute to a causing of an effect to different extents. In this paper, I motivate a probabilistic analysis of an event’s degree of contribution to a causing of an effect and explore some of its consequences.
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  • How I Learned to Worry About the Spaghetti Western: Collective Responsibility and Collective Agency.Caroline T. Arruda - 2017 - Analysis 77 (2):anx067.
    In recent years, collective agency and responsibility have received a great deal of attention. One exciting development concerns whether collective, non-distributive responsibility can be assigned to collective non-agents, such as crowds and nation-states. I focus on an underappreciated aspect of these arguments—namely, that they sometimes derive substantive ontological conclusions about the nature of collective agents from these responsibility attributions. I argue that this order of inference, whose form I represent in what I call the Spaghetti Western Argument, largely fails, even (...)
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