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Explaining (away) the epistemic condition on moral responsibility

In Philip Robichaud & Jan Willem Wieland (eds.), Responsibility - The Epistemic Condition. Oxford University Press. pp. 146–162 (2017)

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  1. Circumstantial Ignorance and Mitigated Blameworthiness.Daniel J. Miller - 2018 - Philosophical Explorations 22 (1):33-43.
    It is intuitive that circumstantial ignorance, even when culpable, can mitigate blameworthiness for morally wrong behavior. In this paper I suggest an explanation of why this is so. The explanation offered is that an agent’s degree of blameworthiness for some action depends at least in part upon the quality of will expressed in that action, and that an agent’s level of awareness when performing a morally wrong action can make a difference to the quality of will that is expressed in (...)
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  • Being implicated: on the fittingness of guilt and indignation over outcomes.Gunnar Björnsson - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 178 (11):1–18.
    When is it fitting for an agent to feel guilt over an outcome, and for others to be morally indignant with her over it? A popular answer requires that the outcome happened because of the agent, or that the agent was a cause of the outcome. This paper reviews some of what makes this causal-explanatory view attractive before turning to two kinds of problem cases: cases of collective harms and cases of fungible switching. These, it is argued, motivate a related (...)
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  • The concept of responsibility in the ethics of self-defense and war.Carolina Sartorio - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 178 (11):3561-3577.
    The focus of this paper is an influential family of views in the ethics of self-defense and war: views that ground the agent’s liability to be attacked in self-defense in the agent’s moral responsibility for the threat posed. I critically examine the concept of responsibility employed by such views, by looking at potential connections with the contemporary literature on moral responsibility. I start by uncovering some of the key assumptions that Responsibility Views make about the relevant concept of responsibility, and (...)
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  • Responsibility for Strategic Ignorance.Jan Wieland - 2017 - Synthese 194 (11):4477-4497.
    Strategic ignorance is a widespread phenomenon. In a laboratory setting, many participants avoid learning information about the consequences of their behaviour in order to act egoistically. In real life, many consumers avoid information about their purchases or the working conditions in which they were produced in order to retain their lifestyle. The question is whether agents are blameworthy for such strategically ignorant behaviour. In this paper, I explore quality of will resources, according to which agents are blameworthy, roughly, depending on (...)
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  • Collective Culpable Ignorance.Niels de Haan - 2021 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 10 (2):99-108.
    I argue that culpable ignorance can be irreducibly collective. In some cases, it is not fair to expect any individual to have avoided her ignorance of some fact, but it is fair to expect the agents together to have avoided their ignorance of that fact. Hence, no agent is individually culpable for her ignorance, but they are culpable for their ignorance together. This provides us with good reason to think that any group that is culpably ignorant in this irreducibly collective (...)
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  • Praise as Moral Address.Daniel Telech - forthcoming - Oxford Studies in Agency and Responsibility 7.
    While Strawsonians have focused on the way in which our “reactive attitudes”—the emotions through which we hold one another responsible for manifestations of morally significant quality of regard—express moral demands, serious doubt has been cast on the idea that non-blaming reactive attitudes direct moral demands to their targets. Building on Gary Watson’s proposal that the reactive attitudes are ‘forms of moral address’, this paper advances a communicative view of praise according to which the form of moral address distinctive of the (...)
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  • Indirectly Free Actions, Libertarianism, and Resultant Moral Luck.Robert J. Hartman - 2020 - Erkenntnis 85 (6):1417-1436.
    Martin Luther affirms his theological position by saying “Here I stand. I can do no other.” Supposing that Luther’s claim is true, he lacks alternative possibilities at the moment of choice. Even so, many libertarians have the intuition that he is morally responsible for his action. One way to make sense of this intuition is to assert that Luther’s action is indirectly free, because his action inherits its freedom and moral responsibility from earlier actions when he had alternative possibilities and (...)
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  • Concomitant Ignorance Excuses From Moral Responsibility.Robert J. Hartman - 2021 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 10 (1):58-65.
    Some philosophers contend that concomitant ignorance preserves moral responsibility for wrongdoing. An agent is concomitantly ignorant with respect to wrongdoing if and only if her ignorance is non-culpable, but she would freely have performed the same action if she were not ignorant. I, however, argue that concomitant ignorance excuses. I show that leading accounts of moral responsibility imply that concomitant ignorance excuses, and I debunk the view that concomitant ignorance preserves moral responsibility.
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  • Is It OK to Make Mistakes? Appraisal and False Normative Belief.Claire Field - 2019 - Dissertation, University of St Andrews
    Sometimes we make mistakes, even when we try to do our best. When those mistakes are about normative matters, such as what is required, this leads to a puzzle. This puzzle arises from the possibility of misleading evidence about what rationality requires. I argue that the best way to solve this puzzle is to distinguish between two kinds of evaluation: requirement and appraisal. The strategy I defend connects three distinct debates in epistemology, ethics, and normativity: the debate over how our (...)
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  • Collective Responsibility and Collective Obligations Without Collective Moral Agents.Gunnar Björnsson - forthcoming - In Saba Bazargan-Forward & Deborah Tollefsen (eds.), Handbook of Collective Responsibility. Routledge.
    It is commonplace to attribute obligations to φ or blameworthiness for φ-ing to groups even when no member has an obligation to φ or is individually blameworthy for not φ-ing. Such non-distributive attributions can seem problematic in cases where the group is not a moral agent in its own right. In response, it has been argued both that non-agential groups can have the capabilities requisite to have obligations of their own, and that group obligations can be understood in terms of (...)
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  • Quality of Will and Radical Value Reversals.Gunnar Björnsson - 2020 - PEA Soup Symposium on Al Mele's Manipulated Agents: A Window to Moral Responsibility.
    Al Mele’s Manipulated Agents: A Window to Moral Responsibility (OUP 2019) is an extraordinarily careful and clear little book. A central recurring element is the use of examples of radical value reversals due to manipulation. In this commentary, I discuss the relevance of these examples to a simple quality of will account of blameworthiness without explicit historical conditions. Such an account, I suggest, can fairly straightforwardly explain how value reversals might mitigate blameworthiness. But I also suggest that the intuition that (...)
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  • On Individual and Shared Obligations: In Defense of the Activist’s Perspective.Gunnar Björnsson - forthcoming - In Mark Budolfson, Tristram McPherson & David Plunkett (eds.), Philosophy and Climate Change. Oxford University Press.
    We naturally attribute obligations to groups, and take such obligations to have consequences for the obligations of group members. The threat posed by anthropogenic climate change provides an urgent case. It seems that we, together, have an obligation to prevent climate catastrophe, and that we, as individuals, have an obligation to contribute. However, understood strictly, attributions of obligations to groups might seem illegitimate. On the one hand, the groups in question—the people alive today, say—are rarely fully-fledged moral agents, making it (...)
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  • The Epistemic Condition for Moral Responsibility.Fernando Rudy-Hiller - 2018 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    An encyclopedia article on the epistemic or knowledge condition for moral responsibility, written for the SEP.
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  • A Puzzle Concerning Blame Transfer.Philip Robichaud & Jan Willem Wieland - 2019 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 99 (1):3-26.
    Suppose that you are a doctor and that you prescribed a drug to a patient who died as a result. Suppose further that you could have known about the risks of this drug, and that you are blameworthy for your ignorance. Does the blameworthiness for your ignorance ‘transfer’ to blameworthiness for your ignorant action in this case? Many are inclined accept that such transfer can occur and that blameworthiness for ignorant conduct can be derivative or indirect in this way. In (...)
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  • Responsibility: The State of the Question Fault Lines in the Foundations.David Shoemaker - 2020 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 58 (2):205-237.
    Explores five fault lines in the fledgling field of responsibility theory, serious methodological disputes traceable to P.F. Strawson's "Freedom and Resentment.".
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  • Oorganiserade kollektiv kan handla.Simon Rosenqvist - 2018 - Tidskrift För Politisk Filosofi 22 (2):61-68.
    Jag argumenterar för att oorganiserade kollektiv, såsom kollektivet av alla människor, kan handla moraliskt rätt och fel. Storskaliga problem likt den globala uppvärmningen är till exempel resultatet av en sådan kollektiv handling, nämligen hela mänsklighetens utsläpp av växthusgaser. Denna kollektiva handling är dessutom moraliskt fel, på grund av dess dåliga konsekvenser. Jag bemöter också en invändning mot denna uppfattning om kollektivt handlande, enligt vilken det är intuitivt orimligt att oorganiserade kollektiv såsom ”hela mänskligheten” kan handla.
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  • Reasons to Forgive.Per-Erik Milam - 2019 - Analysis 79 (2):242-251.
    When we forgive, we do so for reasons. One challenge for forgiveness theorists is to explain which reasons are reasons to forgive and which are not. This paper argues that we forgive in response to a perceived change of heart on the part of the offender. The argument proceeds in four steps. First, I show that we forgive for reasons. Second, I argue that forgiveness requires the right kind of reason. Third, I show that these two points explain a common (...)
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