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The Hard Problem of Responsibility

In David Shoemaker (ed.), Oxford Studies in Agency and Responsibility, Vol. 1. Oxford University Press (2013)

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  1. Taking Responsibility for Negligence and Non-negligence.Garrath Williams - 2020 - Criminal Law and Philosophy 14 (1):113-134.
    Negligence reminds us that we often do and cause things unawares, occasionally with grave results. Given the lack of foresight and intention, some authors argue that people should not be judged culpable for negligence. This paper offers a contrasting view. It argues that gaining control is itself a fundamental responsibility, with both collective and individual elements. The paper underlines both sides, focussing on how they relate as we ascribe responsibility or culpability. Following the introduction, Section 2 argues that conscious awareness (...)
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  • The Moral Addressor Account of Moral Agency.Dorna Behdadi - manuscript
    According to the practice-focused approach to moral agency, a participant stance towards an entity is warranted by the extent to which this entity qualifies as an apt target of ascriptions of moral responsibility, such as blame. Entities who are not eligible for such reactions are exempted from moral responsibility practices, and thus denied moral agency. I claim that many typically exempted cases may qualify as moral agents by being eligible for a distinct participant stance. When we participate in moral responsibility (...)
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  • Mind-Making Practices: The Social Infrastructure of Self-Knowing Agency and Responsibility.Victoria McGeer - 2015 - Philosophical Explorations 18 (2):259-281.
    This paper is divided into two parts. In Section 1, I explore and defend a “regulative view” of folk-psychology as against the “standard view”. On the regulative view, folk-psychology is conceptualized in fundamentally interpersonal terms as a “mind-making” practice through which we come to form and regulate our minds in accordance with a rich array of socially shared and socially maintained sense-making norms. It is not, as the standard view maintains, simply an epistemic capacity for coming to know about the (...)
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  • XV—Intelligent Capacities.Victoria McGeer - forthcoming - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society.
    In The Concept of Mind, Gilbert Ryle argued that a more sophisticated understanding of the dispositional nature of ‘intelligent capacities’ could bolster philosophical resistance to the tempting view that the human mind is possessed of metaphysically ‘occult’ powers and properties. This temptation is powerful in the context of accounting for the special qualities of responsible agency. Incompatibilists indulge the temptation; compatibilists resist it, using a variety of strategies. One recent strategy, reminiscent of Ryle’s, is to exploit a more sophisticated understanding (...)
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  • Willensfreiheit.Geert Keil - 2017 - Berlin: De Gruyter.
    Das Buch verschafft einen Überblick über die neuere Willensfreiheitsdebatte, wobei es auch die Konsequenzen der Hirnforschung für das Freiheitsproblem erörtert. Ferner entwickelt der Autor eine eigene Position, die er 'fähigkeitsbasierten Libertarismus' nennt. Er widerspricht dem breiten philosophischen Konsens, dass jedenfalls eine Art von Freiheit mit einem naturwissenschaftlichen Weltbild unverträglich sei, nämlich die Fähigkeit, sich unter gegebenen Bedingungen so oder anders zu entscheiden. Im Buch wird argumentiert, dass der libertarischen Freiheitsauffassung, die wir im Alltag alle teilen, bei näherer Betrachtung keine Tatschen (...)
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  • Author’s Reply: Negligence and Normative Import.Katrina L. Sifferd & Tyler K. Fagan - 2022 - Criminal Law and Philosophy 22 (August):1-19.
    In this paper we attempt to reply to the thoughtful comments made on our book, Responsible Brains, by a stellar group of scholars. Our reply focuses on two topics discussed in the commenting papers: frst, the issue of responsibility for negligent behavior; and second, the broad claim that facts about brain function are normatively inert. In response to worries that our theory lacks normative implications, we will concentrate on an area where our theory has clear relevance to law and legal (...)
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  • Equal Opportunity, Responsibility, and Personal Identity.Ian Carter - 2018 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 21 (4):825-839.
    According to the ‘starting-gate’ interpretation of equality of opportunity, individuals who enjoy equal starts can legitimately become unequal to the extent that their differences derive from choices for which they can be held responsible. There can be no coercive transfers of resources in favour of individuals who disregarded their own futures, and no limits on the right of an individual to distribute resources intrapersonally. This paper assesses two ways in which advocates of equality of opportunity might depart from the starting-gate (...)
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  • Moral Risk and Communicating Consent.Renée Jorgensen Bolinger - 2019 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 47 (2):179-207.
    In addition to protecting agents’ autonomy, consent plays a crucial social role: it enables agents to secure partners in valuable interactions that would be prohibitively morally risk otherwise. To do this, consent must be observable: agents must be able to track the facts about whether they have received a consent-based permission. I argue that this morally justifies a consent-practice on which communicating that one consents is sufficient for consent, but also generates robust constraints on what sorts of behaviors can be (...)
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  • Responsibility for Forgetting.Samuel Murray, Elise D. Murray, Gregory Stewart, Walter Sinnott-Armstrong & Felipe De Brigard - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (5):1177-1201.
    In this paper, we focus on whether and to what extent we judge that people are responsible for the consequences of their forgetfulness. We ran a series of behavioral studies to measure judgments of responsibility for the consequences of forgetfulness. Our results show that we are disposed to hold others responsible for some of their forgetfulness. The level of stress that the forgetful agent is under modulates judgments of responsibility, though the level of care that the agent exhibits toward performing (...)
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  • How to (Dis)Solve Nagel's Paradox About Moral Luck and Responsibility.Fernando Rudy Hiller - 2016 - Manuscrito 39 (1):5-32.
    In this paper I defend a solution to the moral luck problem based on what I call "a fair opportunity account of control." I focus on Thomas Nagel's claim that moral luck reveals a paradox, and argue that the apparent paradox emerges only because he assumes that attributions of responsibility require agents to have total control over their actions. I argue that a more modest understanding of what it takes for someone to be a responsible agent-i.e., being capable of doing (...)
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  • Give People a Break: Slips and Moral Responsibility.Fernando Rudy-Hiller - 2019 - Philosophical Quarterly 69 (277):721-740.
    I examine the question of whether people are sometimes morally blameworthy for what I call ‘slips’: wrongful actions or omissions that a good-willed agent inadvertently performs due to a non-negligent failure to be aware of relevant considerations. I focus in particular on the capacitarian answer to this question, according to which possession of the requisite capacities to be aware of relevant considerations and respond appropriately explains blameworthiness for slips. I argue, however, that capacitarianism fails to show that agents have responsibility (...)
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  • The Conversable, Responsible Corporation.Philip Pettit - 2017 - In Eric Orts & Craig Smith (eds.), The Moral Responsibility of Firms. Oxford University Press. pp. 15-35.
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  • The Empowering Theory of Trust.Victoria McGeer & Philip Pettit - 2017 - In Paul Faulkner & Thomas W. Simpson (eds.), The Philosophy of Trust. Oxford University Press. pp. 14-34.
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  • Two Ways of Socialising Responsibility: Circumstantialist and Scaffolded-Responsiveness.Jules Holroyd - 2018 - In Katrina Hutchinson, Catriona Mackenzie & Marina Oshana (eds.), Social Dimensions of Moral Responsibility. New York, USA: pp. 137-162.
    This chapter evaluates two competing views of morally responsible agency. The first view at issue is Vargas’s circumstantialism—on which responsible agency is a function of the agent and her circumstances, and so is highly context sensitive. The second view is McGeer’s scaffolded-responsiveness view, on which responsible agency is constituted by the capacity for responsiveness to reasons directly, and indirectly via sensitivity to the expectations of one’s audience (whose sensitivity may be more developed than one’s own). This chapter defends a version (...)
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  • Freedom: Psychological, Ethical, and Political.Philip Pettit - 2015 - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 18 (4):375-389.
    Freedom is sometimes cast as the psychological ideal that distinguishes human beings from other animals; sometimes as the ethical ideal that distinguishes some human beings from others; and sometimes as the political ideal that distinguishes some human societies from others. This paper is an attempt to put the three ideals in a common frame, revealing their mutual connections and differences.
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  • Political Realism Meets Civic Republicanism.Philip Pettit - 2017 - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 20 (3):331-347.
    The paper offers five desiderata on a realist normative theory of politics: that it should avoid moralism, deontologism, transcendentalism, utopianism, and vanguardism. These desiderata argue for a theory that begins from values rooted in a people’s experience; that avoids prescribing a collective deontological constraint; that makes the comparison of imperfect regimes possible; that takes feasibility and sustainability into account; and that makes room for the claims of democracy. The paper argues, in the course of exploring the desiderata, that a neo-republican (...)
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  • Personal Autonomy.Sarah Buss - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    To be autonomous is to be a law to oneself; autonomous agents are self-governing agents. Most of us want to be autonomous because we want to be accountable for what we do, and because it seems that if we are not the ones calling the shots, then we cannot be accountable. More importantly, perhaps, the value of autonomy is tied to the value of self-integration. We don't want to be alien to, or at war with, ourselves; and it seems that (...)
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