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  1. From Sufficient Health to Sufficient Responsibility.Ben Davies & Julian Savulescu - 2020 - Journal of Bioethical Inquiry 17 (3):423-433.
    The idea of using responsibility in the allocation of healthcare resources has been criticized for, among other things, too readily abandoning people who are responsible for being very badly off. One response to this problem is that while responsibility can play a role in resource allocation, it cannot do so if it will leave those who are responsible below a “sufficiency” threshold. This paper considers first whether a view can be both distinctively sufficientarian and allow responsibility to play a role (...)
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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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  • Reasonable Expectations, Moral Responsibility, and Empirical Data.Fernando Rudy-Hiller - 2020 - Philosophical Studies (10):2945-2968.
    Many philosophers think that a necessary condition on moral blameworthiness is that the wrongdoer can reasonably be expected to avoid the action for which she is blamed. Those who think so assume as a matter of course that the expectations at issue here are normative expectations that contrast with the non-normative or predictive expectations we form concerning the probable conduct of others, and they believe, or at least assume, that there is a clear-cut distinction between the two. In this paper (...)
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  • Desperately Seeking Sourcehood.Hannah Tierney & David Glick - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (4):953-970.
    In a recent essay, Deery and Nahmias :1255–1276, 2017) utilize interventionism about causation to develop an account of causal sourcehood in order to defend compatibilism about free will and moral responsibility from manipulation arguments. In this paper, we criticize Deery and Nahmias’s analysis of sourcehood by drawing a distinction between two forms of causal invariance that can come into conflict on their account. We conclude that any attempt to resolve this conflict will either result in counterintuitive attributions of moral responsibility (...)
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  • Manipulation and Degrees of Blameworthiness.Martin Montminy & Daniel Tinney - 2018 - The Journal of Ethics 22 (3-4):265-281.
    We propose an original response to Derk Pereboom’s four-case manipulation argument. This response combines a hard-line and a soft-line. Like hard-liners, we insist that the manipulated agent is blameworthy for his wrongdoing. However, like soft-liners, we maintain that there is a difference in blameworthiness between the manipulated agent and the non-manipulated one. The former is less blameworthy than the latter. This difference is due to the fact that it is more difficult for the manipulated agent to do the right thing. (...)
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  • On Being Difficult: Towards an Account of the Nature of Difficulty.Hasko von Kriegstein - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (1):45-64.
    This paper critically assesses existing accounts of the nature of difficulty, finds them wanting, and proposes a new account. The concept of difficulty is routinely invoked in debates regarding degrees of moral responsibility, and the value of achievement. Until recently, however, there has not been any sustained attempt to provide an account of the nature of difficulty itself. This has changed with Gwen Bradford’s Achievement, which argues that difficulty is a matter of how much intense effort is expended. But while (...)
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  • Moral Responsibility, Luck, and Compatibilism.Taylor Cyr - 2019 - Erkenntnis 84 (1):193-214.
    In this paper, I defend a version of compatibilism against luck-related objections. After introducing the types of luck that some take to be problematic for moral responsibility, I consider and respond to two recent attempts to show that compatibilism faces the same problem of luck that libertarianism faces—present luck. I then consider a different type of luck—constitutive luck—and provide a new solution to this problem. One upshot of the present discussion is a reason to prefer a history-sensitive compatibilist account over (...)
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  • Moral Responsibility and Mental Illness: A Call for Nuance.Matt King & Joshua May - 2018 - Neuroethics 11 (1):11-22.
    Does having a mental disorder, in general, affect whether someone is morally responsible for an action? Many people seem to think so, holding that mental disorders nearly always mitigate responsibility. Against this Naïve view, we argue for a Nuanced account. The problem is not just that different theories of responsibility yield different verdicts about particular cases. Even when all reasonable theories agree about what's relevant to responsibility, the ways mental illness can affect behavior are so varied that a more nuanced (...)
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  • Defeating Manipulation Arguments: Interventionist Causation and Compatibilist Sourcehood.Oisín Deery & Eddy Nahmias - 2017 - Philosophical Studies 174 (5):1255-1276.
    We use recent interventionist theories of causation to develop a compatibilist account of causal sourcehood, which provides a response to Manipulation Arguments for the incompatibility of free will and determinism. Our account explains the difference between manipulation and determinism, against the claim of Manipulation Arguments that there is no relevant difference. Interventionism allows us to see that causal determinism does not mean that variables outside of the agent causally explain her actions better than variables within the agent, whereas the causal (...)
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  • Deep Brain Stimulation, Historicism, and Moral Responsibility.Daniel Sharp & David Wasserman - 2016 - Neuroethics 9 (2):173-185.
    Although philosophers have explored several connections between neuroscience and moral responsibility, the issue of how real-world neurological modifications, such as Deep Brain Stimulation, impact moral responsibility has received little attention. In this article, we draw on debates about the relevance of history and manipulation to moral responsibility to argue that certain kinds of neurological modification can diminish the responsibility of the agents so modified. We argue for a historicist position - a version of the history-sensitive reflection view - and defend (...)
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  • Quality of Reasons and Degrees of Responsibility.Hannah Tierney - 2019 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 97 (4):661-672.
    Traditionally, theories of moral responsibility feature only the minimally sufficient conditions for moral responsibility. While these theories are well-suited to account for the threshold of responsibility, it’s less clear how they can address questions about the degree to which agents are responsible. One feature that intuitively affects the degree to which agents are morally responsible is how difficult performing a given action is for them. Recently, philosophers have begun to develop accounts of scalar moral responsibility that make use of this (...)
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  • Being Sympathetic to Bad-History Wrongdoers.Craig K. Agule - 2021 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly.
    For many philosophers, bad-history wrongdoers are primarily interesting because of what their cases might tell us about the interaction of moral responsibility and history. However, philosophers focusing on blameworthiness have overlooked important questions about blame itself. These bad-history cases are complicated because blame and sympathy are both fitting. When we are careful to consider the rich natures of those two reactions, we see that they conflict in several important ways. We should see bad-history cases as cases about whether and how (...)
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  • Hedged Assertion.Matthew A. Benton & Peter Van Elswyk - 2020 - In Sanford Goldberg (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Assertion. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 245-263.
    Surprisingly little has been written about hedged assertion. Linguists often focus on semantic or syntactic theorizing about, for example, grammatical evidentials or epistemic modals, but pay far less attention to what hedging does at the level of action. By contrast, philosophers have focused extensively on normative issues regarding what epistemic position is required for proper assertion, yet they have almost exclusively considered unqualified declaratives. This essay considers the linguistic and normative issues side-by-side. We aim to bring some order and clarity (...)
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  • An ability-based theory of responsibility for collective omissions.Joseph Metz - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 178 (8):2665-2685.
    Many important harms result in large part from our collective omissions, such as harms from our omissions to stop climate change and famines. Accounting for responsibility for collective omissions turns out to be particularly challenging. It is hard to see how an individual contributes anything to a collective omission to prevent harm if she couldn’t have made a difference to that harm on her own. Some groups are able to prevent such harms, but it is highly contentious whether groups can (...)
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  • A Pluralistic Account of Degrees of Control in Addiction.Federico Burdman - forthcoming - Philosophical Studies.
    While some form of loss of control is often assumed to be a common feature of the diverse manifestations of addiction, it is far from clear how loss of control should be understood. In this paper, I put forward a concept of decrease in control in addiction that aims to fill this gap and thus provide a general framework for thinking about addictive behavior. The development of this account involves two main steps. First, I present a view of degrees of (...)
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  • Responsibility Without Blame for Addiction.Hanna Pickard - 2017 - Neuroethics 10 (1):169-180.
    Drug use and drug addiction are severely stigmatised around the world. Marc Lewis does not frame his learning model of addiction as a choice model out of concern that to do so further encourages stigma and blame. Yet the evidence in support of a choice model is increasingly strong as well as consonant with core elements of his learning model. I offer a responsibility without blame framework that derives from reflection on forms of clinical practice that support change and recovery (...)
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  • Difficulty and Degrees of Moral Praiseworthiness and Blameworthiness.Dana Kay Nelkin - 2016 - Noûs 50 (2):356-378.
    In everyday life, we assume that there are degrees of blameworthiness and praiseworthiness. Yet the debate about the nature of moral responsibility often focuses on the “yes or no” question of whether indeterminism is required for moral responsibility, while questions about what accounts for more or less blameworthiness or praiseworthiness are underexplored. In this paper, I defend the idea that degrees of blameworthiness and praiseworthiness can depend in part on degrees of difficulty and degrees of sacrifice required for performing the (...)
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  • Implicit Bias, Moods, and Moral Responsibility.Alex Madva - 2018 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 99 (S1):53-78.
    Are individuals morally responsible for their implicit biases? One reason to think not is that implicit biases are often advertised as unconscious, ‘introspectively inaccessible’ attitudes. However, recent empirical evidence consistently suggests that individuals are aware of their implicit biases, although often in partial and inarticulate ways. Here I explore the implications of this evidence of partial awareness for individuals’ moral responsibility. First, I argue that responsibility comes in degrees. Second, I argue that individuals’ partial awareness of their implicit biases makes (...)
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  • This is a Tricky Situation: Situationism and Reasons-Responsiveness.Marcela Herdova & Stephen Kearns - 2017 - The Journal of Ethics 21 (2):151-183.
    Situations are powerful: the evidence from experimental social psychology suggests that agents are hugely influenced by the situations they find themselves in, often without their knowing it. In our paper, we evaluate how situational factors affect our reasons-responsiveness, as conceived of by John Fischer and Mark Ravizza, and, through this, how they also affect moral responsibility. We argue that the situationist experiments suggest that situational factors impair, among other things, our moderate reasons-responsiveness, which is plausibly required for moral responsibility. However, (...)
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  • Is Ignorance of Climate Change Culpable?Philip Robichaud - 2017 - Science and Engineering Ethics 23 (5):1409-1430.
    Sometimes ignorance is an excuse. If an agent did not know and could not have known that her action would realize some bad outcome, then it is plausible to maintain that she is not to blame for realizing that outcome, even when the act that leads to this outcome is wrong. This general thought can be brought to bear in the context of climate change insofar as we think (a) that the actions of individual agents play some role in realizing (...)
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  • Addiction and Moralization: The Role of the Underlying Model of Addiction.Lily E. Frank & Saskia K. Nagel - 2017 - Neuroethics 10 (1):129-139.
    Addiction appears to be a deeply moralized concept. To understand the entwinement of addiction and morality, we briefly discuss the disease model and its alternatives in order to address the following questions: Is the disease model the only path towards a ‘de-moralized’ discourse of addiction? While it is tempting to think that medical language surrounding addiction provides liberation from the moralized language, evidence suggests that this is not necessarily the case. On the other hand non-disease models of addiction may seem (...)
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  • Canadian Scholars on Criminal Responsibility.Stephen P. Garvey - 2015 - Criminal Law and Philosophy 9 (2):351-364.
    This short review examines the work of four Canadian scholars addressing a variety of questions about criminal responsibility. The essays under review are a small part of a recent collection of essays entitled “Rethinking Criminal Law Theory: New Canadian Perspectives in the Philosophy of Domestic, Transnational, and International Criminal Law.”.
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  • Responsibility and Appropriate Blame: The No Difference View.Leonhard Menges - 2021 - European Journal of Philosophy 29 (2):393-409.
    How do the fact that an agent is morally responsible for a certain morally objectionable action and the fact that she is an appropriate target of blame for it relate to each other? Many authors inspired by Peter Strawson say that they necessarily co‐occur. Standard answers to the question of why they co‐occur say that the occurrence of one of the facts explains that the other obtains. This article presents a third option: that they are one and the same fact. (...)
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  • Reasons‐Sensitivity and Degrees of Free Will.Alex Kaiserman - forthcoming - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, EarlyView.
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  • Responsibility Problems for Criminal Justice.Sofia M. I. Jeppsson - 2014 - Frontiers in Psychology 5.
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  • The Shattered Spiritual Self: A Philosophical Exploration of Religious Trauma.Michelle Panchuk - 2018 - Res Philosophica 95 (3):505-530.
    In this paper I consider what a person who finds herself religiously incapacitated ought to do. More specifically, I address people who have come to God asking for bread, but who seem to have received stones and serpents in its place. This is a manifestation of the phenomenon that I call religious trauma. My goals in this paper are twofold. First, I aim to demonstrate that, because religious trauma can be genuinely religiously incapacitating, it can result in non-culpable failure to (...)
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  • Responsibility and the Problem of So-Called Marginal Agents.Larisa Svirsky - 2020 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 6 (2):246-263.
    Philosophical views of responsibility often identify responsible agency with capacities like rationality and self-control. Yet in ordinary life, we frequently hold individuals responsible who are deficient in these capacities, such as children or people with mental illness. The existing literature that addresses these cases has suggested that we merely pretend to hold these agents responsible, or that they are responsible to a diminished degree. In this paper, I demonstrate that neither of these approaches is satisfactory, and offer an alternative focused (...)
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  • Responsibility, Reflection, and Rational Ability.Dana Kay Nelkin - 2020 - The Monist 103 (3):294-311.
    This paper takes as its starting point the thesis that one is responsible for one’s actions insofar as one has the ability to act for good reasons. Such a view faces a challenge: it is plausible that only beings with the ability to reflect are responsible agents, and yet it seems that not only is it possible to act for reasons without reflecting, it seems to happen quite frequently. Thus, advocates of the rational-ability view of responsibility must either reject as (...)
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  • Being More Blameworthy.D. Justin Coates - 2019 - American Philosophical Quarterly 56 (3):233-246.
    In this paper I explore graded attributions of blameworthiness—that is, judgments of the general sort, "A is more blameworthy for x-ing than B is," or "A is less blameworthy for her character than B is." In so doing, I aim to provide a philosophical basis for the widespread, if not completely articulate, practice of altering the degree to which we hold others responsible on the basis of facts about them or facts about their environments. To vindicate this practice, I disambiguate (...)
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  • Instrumentalism About Moral Responsibility Revisited.Anneli Jefferson - 2019 - Philosophical Quarterly 69 (276):555-573.
    I defend an instrumentalist account of moral responsibility and adopt Manuel Vargas’ idea that our responsibility practices are justified by their effects. However, whereas Vargas gives an independent account of morally responsible agency, on my account, responsible agency is defined as the susceptibility to developing and maintaining moral agency through being held responsible. I show that the instrumentalism I propose can avoid some problems more crude forms of instrumentalism encounter by adopting aspects of Strawsonian accounts. I then show the implications (...)
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  • Agency, Teleological Control and Robust Causation.Marius Usher - 2020 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 100 (2):302-324.
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, EarlyView.
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  • Executive Function, Disability, and Agency.Kevin Timpe - 2016 - Res Philosophica 93 (4):767-796.
    This paper considers how a number of particular disabilities can impact agency primarily by affecting what psychologists refer to as ‘executive function.’ Some disabilities, I argue, could decrease agency even without fully undermining it. I see this argument as contributing to the growing literature that sees agency as coming in degrees. The first section gives a broad outline of a fairly standard approach to agency. The second section relates that framework to the existing literature, which suggests that agency comes in (...)
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  • Intending, Believing, and Supposing at Will.Joshua Shepherd - 2018 - Ratio 31 (3):321-330.
    In this paper I consider an argument for the possibility of intending at will, and its relationship to an argument about the possibility of believing at will. I argue that although we have good reason to think we sometimes intend at will, we lack good reason to think this in the case of believing. Instead of believing at will, agents like us often suppose at will.
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  • Moral Responsibility and the Wrongness of Abortion.C’Zar Bernstein & Paul Manata - 2019 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 44 (2):243-262.
    We argue against Thomson’s view that abortion is permissible even if fetuses have high moral status. Against this, we argue that, because many mothers are morally responsible for their pregnancies, they have a special obligation to assist. Finally, we address an objection according to which many mothers whose pregnancies are not a product of rape are not morally responsible to a sufficient degree, and so an obligation to assist is not generated. This objection assumes that the force of the mother’s (...)
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  • A Life Worth Living: Value and Responsibility.Audra L. Goodnight - 2019 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 44 (2):133-149.
    Value and responsibility are two central concepts in philosophy and bioethics. The articles that comprise this issue of The Journal of Medicine and Philosophy engage topics of moral injury, madness, transhumanism, cognitive enhancement, and the woman’s responsibility to assist her fetus. Clearly diverse in matter, these subject articles univocally present fruitful ground for engagement with contemporary questions that impact society today. The ability to cure or to enhance, to treat or to terminate through advances in medical technology are all actions (...)
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  • Causal Relevance, Permissible Omissions, and Famine Relief.Chad Vance - 2018 - Dialectica 72 (1):25-47.
    Failures are sometimes, but not always, causally relevant to events. For instance, the failure of the sprinkler was causally relevant to the house fire. However, the failure of the dam upstream to break (thus inundating the house with water) was not. Similarly, failures to prevent harms are sometimes, but not always, morally wrong. For instance, failing to save a nearby drowning child is morally wrong. Yet, you are also in some sense “allowing” someone on another continent to drown right now, (...)
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