Luckily, We Are Only Responsible for What We Could Have Avoided

Midwest Studies in Philosophy 43 (1):106-118 (2019)
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Abstract

This paper has two goals: (1) to defend a particular response to the problem of resultant moral luck and (2) to defend the claim that we are only responsible for what we could have avoided. Cases of overdetermination threaten to undermine the claim that we are only responsible for what we could have avoided. To deal with this issue, I will motivate a particular way of responding to the problem of resultant moral luck. I defend the view that one's degree of responsibility is immune to moral luck but the scope of events for which one is responsible is subject to moral luck. I will then argue that this view allows us to explain away certain intuitions about responsibility and overdetermination (as well as similar intuitions regarding Frankfurt Cases). As a result, the claim that we are only responsible for what we could have avoided becomes significantly more plausible.

Author's Profile

Philip Swenson
College of William and Mary

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