Moral responsibility for concepts, continued: Concepts as abstract objects

European Journal of Philosophy 28 (4):1029-1043 (2020)
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Abstract
In Fredericks (2018b), I argued that we can be morally responsible for our concepts if they are mental representations. Here, I make a complementary argument for the claim that even if concepts are abstract objects, we can be morally responsible for coming to grasp and for thinking (or not thinking) in terms of them. As before, I take for granted Angela Smith's (2005) rational relations account of moral responsibility, though I think the same conclusion follows from various other accounts. My strategy is to focus on the relations that can obtain between concepts (understood as abstract objects) and morally responsible agents. I conclude by discussing some of the reasons why my arguments matter, which have to do with consequential choices between conceptual options, purposefully seeking out concepts that are new to us, and moral education.
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Archival date: 2020-07-24
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