Response-Dependent Responsibility; or, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Blame

Philosophical Review 126 (4):481-527 (2017)
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Abstract

This essay attempts to provide and defend what may be the first actual argument in support of P. F. Strawson's merely stated vision of a response-dependent theory of moral responsibility. It does so by way of an extended analogy with the funny. In part 1, it makes the easier and less controversial case for response-dependence about the funny. In part 2, it shows the tight analogy between anger and amusement in developing the harder and more controversial case for response-dependence about a kind of blameworthiness. It then defends the view from three serious skeptical challenges.

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David Shoemaker
Cornell University

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