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  1. Difficulty & quality of will: implications for moral ignorance.Anna Hartford - forthcoming - Tandf: Philosophical Explorations:1-18.
    Difficulty is often treated as blame-mitigating, and even exculpating. But on some occasions difficulty seems to have little or no bearing on our assessments of moral responsibility, and can even exacerbate it. In this paper, I argue that the relevance (and irrelevance) of difficulty with regard to assessments of moral responsibility is best understood via Quality of Will accounts. I look at various ways of characterising difficulty – including via sacrifice, effort, skill and ‘trying’ – and set out to demonstrate (...)
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  2. Complex Akrasia and Blameworthiness.Anna Hartford - 2020 - Journal of Philosophical Research 45:15-33.
    The idea that conscious control, or more specifically akratic wrongdoing, is a necessary condition for blameworthiness has durable appeal. This position has been explicitly championed by volitionist philosophers, and its tacit influence is broadly felt. Many responses have been offered to the akrasia requirement espoused by volitionists. These responses often take the form of counterexamples involving blameworthy ignorance: i.e., cases where an agent didn’t act akratically, but where they nevertheless seem blameworthy. These counterexamples have generally led to an impasse in (...)
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  3. Moral and Factual Ignorance: a Quality of Will Parity.Anna Hartford - 2019 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 22 (5):1087-1102.
    Within debates concerning responsibility for ignorance the distinction between moral and factual ignorance is often treated as crucial. Many prominent accounts hold that while factual ignorance routinely exculpates, moral ignorance never does so. The view that there is an in-principle distinction between moral and factual ignorance has been referred to as the “Asymmetry Thesis.” This view stands in opposition to the “Parity Thesis,” which holds that moral and factual ignorance are in-principle similar. The Parity Thesis has been closely aligned with (...)
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  4. How Much Should a Person Know? Moral Inquiry & Demandingness.Anna Hartford - 2019 - Moral Philosophy and Politics 6 (1):41-63.
    An area of consensus in debates about culpability for ignorance concerns the importance of an agent’s epistemic situation, and the information available to them, in determining what they ought to know. On this understanding, given the excesses of our present epistemic situation, we are more culpable for our morally-relevant ignorance than ever. This verdict often seems appropriate at the level of individual cases, but I argue that it is over-demanding when considered at large. On the other hand, when we describe (...)
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  5. Fellow Strangers: Physical Distance and Evaluations of Blameworthiness.Anna Hartford - 2023 - Journal of Value Inquiry 57 (2):343-363.
    I seek to re-approach the longstanding debate concerning the moral relevance of physical distance by emphasising the important distinction between evaluations of wrongdoing and evaluations of blameworthiness. Drawing in particular on Quality of Will accounts of blameworthiness, I argue that proximity can make an important difference to what qualifies as sufficient moral concern between strangers, and therefore to evaluations of blameworthiness for failures to assist. This implies that even if two individuals (one distant, one proximate) commit an equivalent wrong in (...)
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  6.  24
    Unfathomable Life: Pregnancy in a hyper-medicalized age.Anna Hartford - 2023 - The Yale Review 111 (3):pp. 33- 50.
    "When we imagine the future of reproductive technology, it is usually a future of more and more choice. A future where it is increasingly possible to exorcise yourself from many of the risks that have thus far been inextricable from the process of bringing someone into being. In a way, I felt as if I were living involuntarily within this future. But it was a half-formed, incomplete future, where I was left terrified in a range of new ways, but not (...)
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  7.  18
    ‘To Save a Likeness’: Berger on Drawing & Resemblance.Anna Hartford - 2023 - Critical Quarterly 65 (1):44- 51.
    “I’ve never known what likeness consists of in a portrait,” Berger writes. “One can see whether it’s there or not, but it remains a mystery.” This essay reflects on some of Berger’s crucial writings on drawing, and particularly on the phenomenon of resemblance: how a drawing can become inhabited by someone, but also how easily that presence can vanish. In turn, it explores the relationship between the world and the page (and the relationship of the self to both) that the (...)
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  8. Attentional Harms and Digital Inequalities.Anna Hartford & Dan J. Stein - 2022 - JMIR Mental Health 9 (2).
    Recent years have seen growing public concern about the effects of persuasive digital technologies on public mental health and well-being. As the draws on our attention reach such staggering scales and as our ability to focus our attention on our own considered ends erodes ever further, the need to understand and articulate what is at stake has become pressing. In this ethical viewpoint, we explore the concept of attentional harms and emphasize their potential seriousness. We further argue that the acknowledgment (...)
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  9.  62
    Enhancement and Hyperresponsibility.Anna Hartford & Dan J. Stein - 2023
    We routinely take diminished capacity as diminishing moral responsibility (as in the case of immaturity, senility, or particular mental impairments). The prospect of enhanced capacity therefore poses immediate questions with regard to moral responsibility. Of particular interest are those capacities that might allow us to better avoid serious harms or wrongdoing. We can consider questions of responsibility with regards to enhancement at various removes. In the first instance: where such (safe and effective) interventions exist, do we have an obligation to (...)
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  10. Addiction, Autonomy, and the Internet: Some ethical considerations.Anna Hartford & Dan J. Stein - 2021
    Despite growing understanding of the addictive qualities of the internet, and rising concerns about the effects of excessive internet use on personal wellbeing and mental health, the corresponding ethical debate is still in its infancy, and many of the relevant philosophical and conceptual frameworks are underdeveloped. Our goal in this chapter is to explore some of this evolving terrain. While there are unique ethical considerations that pertain to the formalisation of a disorder related to excessive internet use, our ethical concerns (...)
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