Vigilance and control

Philosophical Studies 177 (3):825-843 (2020)
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We sometimes fail unwittingly to do things that we ought to do. And we are, from time to time, culpable for these unwitting omissions. We provide an outline of a theory of responsibility for unwitting omissions. We emphasize two distinctive ideas: (i) many unwitting omissions can be understood as failures of appropriate vigilance, and; (ii) the sort of self-control implicated in these failures of appropriate vigilance is valuable. We argue that the norms that govern vigilance and the value of self-control explain culpability for unwitting omissions.

Author Profiles

Samuel Murray
Providence College
Manuel Vargas
University of California, San Diego


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