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  1. The Communication Argument and the Pluralist Challenge.Shawn Tinghao Wang - 2021 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 51 (5):384-399.
    Various theorists have endorsed the “communication argument”: communicative capacities are necessary for morally responsible agency because blame aims at a distinctive kind of moral communication. I contend that existing versions of the argument, including those defended by Gary Watson and Coleen Macnamara, face a pluralist challenge: they do not seem to sit well with the plausible view that blame has multiple aims. I then examine three possible rejoinders to the challenge, suggesting that a context-specific, function-based approach constitutes the most promising (...)
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  • Shame and the Scope of Moral Accountability.Shawn Tinghao Wang - 2021 - Philosophical Quarterly 71 (3):544-564.
    It is widely agreed that reactive attitudes play a central role in our practices concerned with holding people responsible. However, it remains controversial which emotional attitudes count as reactive attitudes such that they are eligible for this central role. Specifically, though theorists near universally agree that guilt is a reactive attitude, they are much more hesitant on whether to also include shame. This paper presents novel arguments for the view that shame is a reactive attitude. The arguments also support the (...)
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  • Response-Dependence in Moral Responsibility: A Granularity Challenge.Shawn Tinghao Wang - 2022 - American Philosophical Quarterly 59 (3):273–285.
    According to the response-dependence view of moral responsibility, a person is morally responsible just in case, and in virtue of the fact that, she is an appropriate target for reactive attitudes. This paper raises a new puzzle regarding response-dependence: there is a mismatch between the granularity of the reactive attitudes and of responsibility facts. Whereas the reactive attitudes are comparatively coarse-grained, responsibility facts can be quite fine-grained. This poses a challenge for response-dependence, which seeks to ground facts about responsibility in (...)
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  • A Puzzle Concerning Gratitude and Accountability.Robert H. Wallace - 2022 - The Journal of Ethics 26 (3):455–480.
    P.F. Strawson’s account of moral responsibility in “Freedom and Resentment” has been widely influential. In both that paper and in the contemporary literature, much attention has been paid to Strawson’s account of blame in terms of reactive attitudes like resentment and indignation. The Strawsonian view of praise in terms of gratitude has received comparatively little attention. Some, however, have noticed something puzzling about gratitude and accountability. We typically understand accountability in terms of moral demands and expectations. Yet gratitude does not (...)
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  • Accepting Moral Luck and Taking Responsibility in Public Health Crises.Daniel Tigard - 2023 - Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics 32 (1):34-40.
    We see cases of moral luck arising in recent times, as we face the uncertainties of provisional rules for navigating the coronavirus pandemic. How should we respond to rule-breakers, and how should they view themselves, when they cause harm inadvertently? Although some argue that guilt is unnecessary for any harm that may result from luck, this paper takes moral luck seriously and encourages consideration of the benefits to be achieved by expressions of self-blame amidst troubling circumstances, from pure accidents to (...)
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  • Artificial Moral Responsibility: How We Can and Cannot Hold Machines Responsible.Daniel W. Tigard - 2021 - Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics 30 (3):435-447.
    Our ability to locate moral responsibility is often thought to be a necessary condition for conducting morally permissible medical practice, engaging in a just war, and other high-stakes endeavors. Yet, with increasing reliance upon artificially intelligent systems, we may be facing a wideningresponsibility gap, which, some argue, cannot be bridged by traditional concepts of responsibility. How then, if at all, can we make use of crucial emerging technologies? According to Colin Allen and Wendell Wallach, the advent of so-called ‘artificial moral (...)
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  • The Comparative Nonarbitrariness Norm of Blame.Daniel Telech & Hannah Tierney - 2019 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 16 (1).
    Much has been written about the fittingness, epistemic, and standing norms that govern blame. In this paper, we argue that there exists a norm of blame that has yet to receive philosophical discussion and without which an account of the ethics of blame will be incomplete: a norm proscribing comparatively arbitrary blame. By reflecting on the objectionableness of comparatively arbitrary blame, we stand to elucidate a substantive, and thus far overlooked, norm governing our attributions of responsibility. Accordingly, our aim in (...)
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  • The heuristics theory of emotions and moderate rationalism.András Szigeti - forthcoming - Philosophical Psychology.
    This paper argues that emotions can play an epistemic role as justifiers of evaluative beliefs. It also presents the heuristics theory of emotion as an empirically informed explanation of how emotions can play such a role and why they in practice usefully complement non-affective evaluative judgments. As such, the heuristics theory represents a form of moderate rationalism: it acknowledges that emotions can be epistemically valuable, even privileged in some sense, but denies that they would be uniquely privileged. I argue that (...)
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  • Emotions as indeterminate justifiers.András Szigeti - 2021 - Synthese 199 (5-6):1-23.
    Sentimentalists believe that values are crucially dependent on emotions. Epistemic sentimentalists subscribe to what I call the final-court-of-appeal view: emotional experience is ultimately necessary and can be sufficient for the justification of evaluative beliefs. This paper rejects this view defending a moderate version of rationalism that steers clear of the excesses of both “Stoic” rationalism and epistemic sentimentalism. We should grant that emotions play a significant epistemic role in justifying evaluations. At the same time, evaluative justification is not uniquely or (...)
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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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  • Threatening Quality of Will.David Shoemaker - forthcoming - Journal of Moral Philosophy:1-20.
    Quality of Will (qw) theories of responsibility claim the target of someone’s blameworthiness for an action is their poor quality of will. There have been many “threats” to such a theory over the years, coming out of a literature interested in the metaphysical conditions of free will, threats having to do with moral luck, manipulation, and negligence. In this paper, I am more interested in surveying and thwarting two “new school” threats to qw theories, including taking responsibility for inadvertence, and (...)
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  • Response to Bennett and Sommers.David Shoemaker - 2019 - Criminal Law and Philosophy 13 (4):585-598.
    This paper is a response to Christopher Bennett’s and Tamler Sommers’ critical discussion of my book Responsibility from the Margins.
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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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  • Engineering responsibility.Nicholas Sars - 2022 - Ethics and Information Technology 24 (3):1-10.
    Many optimistic responses have been proposed to bridge the threat of responsibility gaps which artificial systems create. This paper identifies a question which arises if this optimistic project proves successful. On a response-dependent understanding of responsibility, our responsibility practices themselves at least partially determine who counts as a responsible agent. On this basis, if AI or robot technology advance such that AI or robot agents become fitting participants within responsibility exchanges, then responsibility itself might be engineered. If we have good (...)
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  • Rank Offence: The Ecological Theory of Resentment.Samuel Reis-Dennis - 2021 - Mind 130 (520):1233-1251.
    I argue that fitting resentment tracks unacceptable ‘ecological’ imbalances in relative social strength between victims and perpetrators that arise from violations of legitimate moral expectations. It does not respond purely, or even primarily, to offenders’ attitudes, and its proper targets need not be fully developed moral agents. It characteristically involves a wish for the restoration of social equilibrium rather than a demand for moral recognition or good will. To illuminate these contentions, I focus on cases that I believe demonstrate a (...)
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  • Responsibility and appropriate blame: The no difference view.Leonhard Menges - 2020 - 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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  • Scaffolding agency: A proleptic account of the reactive attitudes.Victoria McGeer - 2018 - European Journal of Philosophy 27 (2):301-323.
    This paper examines the methodological claim made famous by P.F. Strawson: that we understand what features are required for responsible agency by exploring our attitudes and practices of holding responsible. What is the presumed metaphysical connection between holding responsible and being fit to be held responsible that makes this claim credible? I propose a non-standard answer to this question, arguing for a view of responsible agency that is neither anti-realist (i.e. purely 'conventionalist') nor straightforwardly realist. It is instead ‘constructivist’. On (...)
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  • Can we Bridge AI’s responsibility gap at Will?Maximilian Kiener - 2022 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 25 (4):575-593.
    Artificial intelligence increasingly executes tasks that previously only humans could do, such as drive a car, fight in war, or perform a medical operation. However, as the very best AI systems tend to be the least controllable and the least transparent, some scholars argued that humans can no longer be morally responsible for some of the AI-caused outcomes, which would then result in a responsibility gap. In this paper, I assume, for the sake of argument, that at least some of (...)
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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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  • On Shoemaker's Response‐Dependent Theory of Responsibility.Sybren Heyndels & Benjamin De Mesel - 2018 - Dialectica 72 (3):445-451.
    David Shoemaker has recently defended a response-dependent view of moral responsibility. We critically discuss some aspects of Shoemaker's view.
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  • Excuses, Exemptions, and the Challenges to Social Naturalism.Sybren Heyndels - 2022 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 30 (1):72-85.
    Pamela Hieronymi has authored a very insightful book that focuses on one of the most influential articles in 20th century philosophy: P. F. Strawson’s ‘Freedom and Resentment’ (1962). Hieronymi’s principal objective in Freedom, Resentment, and the Metaphysics of Morals is to reconstruct and evaluate the central argumentative strategy in Strawson’s essay. The author’s aim is ‘to show that it can withstand the objections that are both the most obvious and the most serious, leaving it a worthy contender’ (3). In the (...)
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  • The importance of self‐knowledge for free action.Joseph Gurrola - 2023 - European Journal of Philosophy 31 (4):996-1013.
    Much has been made about the ways that implicit biases and other apparently unreflective attitudes can affect our actions and judgments in ways that negatively affect our ability to do right. What has been discussed less is that these attitudes negatively affect our freedom. In this paper, I argue that implicit biases pose a problem for free will. My analysis focuses on the compatibilist notion of free will according to which acting freely consists in acting in accordance with our reflectively (...)
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  • Futile Resistance as Protest.Edmund Tweedy Flanigan - 2023 - Mind 132 (527):631-658.
    Acts of futile resistance—harms against an aggressor which could not reasonably hope to avert the threat the aggressor poses—give rise to a puzzle: on the one hand, many such acts are intuitively permissible, yet on the other, these acts fail to meet the justificatory standards of defensive action. The most widely accepted solution to this puzzle is that victims in such cases permissibly defend against a secondary threat to their honour, dignity, or moral standing. I argue that this solution fails, (...)
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  • Taking the Straight Path. P.F. Strawson's Later Work on Freedom and Responsibility.Benjamin De Mesel - 2022 - Philosophers' Imprint 22 (12):1-17.
    I highlight three features of P.F. Strawson’s later, neglected work on freedom and responsibility. First, in response to a criticism by Rajendra Prasad, Strawson explicitly rejects an argument put forward in ‘Freedom and Resentment’ against the relevance of determinism to moral responsibility. Second, his remarkable acceptance of Prasad’s criticism motivates him to take the ‘straight path’, that is, to be straightforward about the relation between determinism, freedom, the ability to do otherwise and the conditions of responsibility. He claims that the (...)
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  • The Facts and Practices of Moral Responsibility.Benjamin De Mesel & Sybren Heyndels - 2019 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 100 (3):790-811.
    Strawsonians about moral responsibility often claim that our practices of holding morally responsible fix the facts of moral responsibility, rather than the other way round. Many have argued that such ‘reversal’ claims have an unwelcome consequence: If our practices of holding morally responsible fix the facts of moral responsibility, does this not imply, absurdly, that if we held severely mentally ill people responsible, they would be responsible? We provide a new Strawsonian answer to this question, and we explore the relation (...)
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  • Being and holding responsible: Reconciling the disputants through a meaning-based Strawsonian account.Benjamin De Mesel - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 179 (6):1893-1913.
    A fundamental question in responsibility theory concerns the relation between being responsible and our practices of holding responsible. ‘Strawsonians’ often claim that being responsible is somehow a function of our practices of holding responsible, while others think that holding responsible depends on being responsible, and still others think of being and holding responsible as interdependent. Based on a Wittgensteinian reading of Strawson, I develop an account of the relation between being and holding responsible which respects major concerns of all parties (...)
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  • What Could It Mean to Say That Today's Stand‐Up Audiences Are Too Sensitive?Phillip Deen - 2020 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 78 (4):501-512.
    Contemporary comedy audiences are accused by some comedians of being too morally sensitive to appreciate humor. To get closer to an idea of what this means, I will first briefly present the argument over audience sensitivity as found in the non-philosophical literature. Second, I then turn to the philosophical literature and begin from the idea that “funny” is a response-dependent property. I present a criticism of this response-dependence account of “funny” based in the claim that funniness is not de- termined (...)
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  • Resentment, Parenting, and Strawson’s Compatibilism.Daniel Coren - 2020 - Erkenntnis 88 (1):43-65.
    Is moral responsibility compatible with determinism? Peter Strawson’s first answer is: I do not know what the thesis of determinism is. His second answer seems to be: Yes, it is, and we can see this by looking to relevant pockets of our ordinary practices and attitudes, especially our responses (resentment, anger, love, forgiveness) to quality of will. His second answer has shaped subsequent discussions of moral responsibility. But what exactly is Strawson’s compatibilism? And is it a plausible view? By attending (...)
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  • Blameworthiness and Dependence.Randolph Clarke & Piers Rawling - 2023 - Philosophical Quarterly 74 (1):110-124.
    Some recent accounts of blameworthiness present this property as response-dependent: an agent is blameworthy, they say, if and only if, and (if so) in virtue of the fact that, it is fitting to respond to her with a certain blaming emotion. Given the explanatory aim of these views, the selected emotion cannot be said simply to appraise its object as blameworthy. We argue that articulation of the appraisal in other terms suggested by proponents yields a failure of the coextension required (...)
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  • Two Strawsonian strategies for accounting for morally responsible agency.David Beglin - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (8):2341-2364.
    It is common for theorists, drawing on P. F. Strawson, to account for morally responsible agency in terms of the nature of the emotions and feelings that characterize our responsibility practices, in terms of the nature of the so-called “reactive attitudes.” Here, I argue against this attitude-based Strawsonian strategy, and I argue in favor of an alternative, which I call the “concern-based Strawsonian strategy.” On this alternative, rather than account for morally responsible agency in terms of the nature of the (...)
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  • P. F. Strawson, Moral Theories and ‘The Problem of Blame’: ‘Freedom and Resentment’ Revisited.Maria Alvarez - 2021 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 95 (1):183-203.
    After nearly sixty years, the influence of Peter Strawson’s ‘Freedom and Resentment’ remains strong in discussions of moral responsibility. However, as the paper has become more remote in time and in intellectual climate, some of those influences have turned into amplifications of ideas and claims that are misinterpretations or distortions of the paper, while other notions have been projected onto it. I try to make the case for this charge specifically in relation to what has become accepted as Strawson’s ‘response-dependent’ (...)
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  • The subtleties of fit: reassessing the fit-value biconditionals.Rachel Achs & Oded Na’Aman - 2023 - Philosophical Studies 1:1-24.
    A joke is amusing if and only if it’s fitting to be amused by it; an act is regrettable if and only if it’s fitting to regret it. Many philosophers accept these biconditionals and hold that analogous ones obtain between a wide range of additional evaluative properties and the fittingness of corresponding responses. Call these the fit–value biconditionals. The biconditionals give us a systematic way of recognizing the role of fit in our ethical practices; they also serve as the bedrock (...)
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  • The subtleties of fit: reassessing the fit-value biconditionals.Rachel Achs & Oded Na’Aman - 2023 - Philosophical Studies 180 (9):2523-2546.
    A joke is amusing if and only if it’s fitting to be amused by it; an act is regrettable if and only if it’s fitting to regret it. Many philosophers accept these biconditionals and hold that analogous ones obtain between a wide range of additional evaluative properties and the fittingness of corresponding responses. Call these the _fit–value biconditionals_. The biconditionals give us a systematic way of recognizing the role of fit in our ethical practices; they also serve as the bedrock (...)
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  • Emotion.Charlie Kurth - 2022 - New York, NY: Routledge.
    Emotions have long been of interest to philosophers and have deep historical roots going back to the Ancients. They have also become one of the most exciting areas of current research in philosophy, the cognitive sciences, and beyond. -/- This book explains the philosophy of the emotions, structuring the investigation around seven fundamental questions: What are emotions? Are emotions natural kinds? Do animals have emotions? Are emotions epistemically valuable? Are emotions the foundation for value and morality? Are emotions the basis (...)
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  • Fittingness: A User’s Guide.Chris Howard & R. A. Rowland - forthcoming - In Chris Howard & R. A. Rowland (eds.), Fittingness. Oxford University Press.
    The chapter introduces and characterizes the notion of fittingness. It charts the history of the relation and its relevance to contemporary debates in normative and metanormative philosophy and proceeds to survey issues to do with fittingness covered in the volume’s chapters, including the nature and epistemology of fittingness, the relations between fittingness and reasons, the normativity of fittingness, fittingness and value theory, and the role of fittingness in theorizing about responsibility. The chapter concludes with a brief discussion of issues to (...)
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  • Compatibilism.Michael McKenna - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
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  • Moral responsibility.Andrew Eshleman - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    When a person performs or fails to perform a morally significant action, we sometimes think that a particular kind of response is warranted. Praise and blame are perhaps the most obvious forms this reaction might take. For example, one who encounters a car accident may be regarded as worthy of praise for having saved a child from inside the burning car, or alternatively, one may be regarded as worthy of blame for not having used one's mobile phone to call for (...)
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  • Deserved Guilt and Blameworthiness over Time.Andreas Brekke Carlsson - forthcoming - In Self-Blame and Moral Responsibility.
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