Omissions, Responsibility, and Symmetry

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It is widely held that one can be responsible for doing something that one was unable to avoid doing. This paper focuses primarily on the question of whether one can be responsible for not doing something that one was unable to do. The paper begins with an examination of the account of responsibility for omissions offered by John Martin Fischer and Mark Ravizza, arguing that in many cases it yields mistaken verdicts. An alternative account is sketched that jibes with and explains judgments about a variety of omissions cases, including intentional omissions as well as simple failures to act.
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Archival date: 2013-12-11
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