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  1. Frankfurt Cases and 'Could Have Done Otherwise'.Leslie Allan - manuscript
    In his seminal essay, Harry Frankfurt argued that our exercise of free will and allocation of moral responsibility do not depend on us being able to do other than we did. Leslie Allan defends this moral maxim from Frankfurt's attack. Applying his character-based counterfactual conditional analysis of free acts to Frankfurt's counterexamples, Allan unpacks the confusions that lie at the heart of Frankfurt's argument. The author also explores how his 4C compatibilist theory measures up against Frankfurt’s conclusions.
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  2. Free Will and Compatibilism.Leslie Allan - manuscript
    The author mounts a case against the libertarian and hard determinist's thesis that free will is impossible in a deterministic world. He charges incompatibilists with misconstruing ordinary 'free will' talk by overlaying common language with their own metaphysical presuppositions. Through a review of ordinary discourse and recent developments in jurisprudence and the sciences, he draws together the four key factors required for an act to be free. He then puts his 4C theory to work in giving a credible account of (...)
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  3. Fairness, Sanction, and Condemnation.Pamela Hieronymi - manuscript
    I here press an often overlooked question: Why does the fairness of a sanction require an adequate opportunity to avoid it? By pressing this question, I believe I have come to better understand something that has long puzzled me, namely, what philosophers (and others) might have in mind when they talk about “true moral responsibility,” or the “condemnatory force” of moral blame, or perhaps even “basic desert.” In presenting this understanding of “condemnation” or of “basic desert,” I am presenting an (...)
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  4. Manipulating Responsibility.Matt King - manuscript
    Manipulation arguments have become almost a cottage industry in the moral responsibility literature. These cases are used for a variety of purposes, familiarly to undermine some proffered set of conditions on responsibility, usually compatibilist conditions. The basic idea is to conceive of a case which intuitively includes responsibility-undermining manipulation but which meets the target account’s set of sufficient conditions on responsibility. The manipulation thereby serves as a counterexample to the target theory. More specifically, recent concern with manipulation cases has often (...)
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  5. Against (Modified) Buffer Cases.Justin A. Capes - forthcoming - Philosophical Studies:1-13.
    I defend the principle of alternative possibilities against what are sometimes known as buffer cases, which are supposed by some to be counterexamples to the principle. I develop an existing problem with the claim that standard buffer cases are counterexamples to PAP, before responding to a recent attempt by Michael McKenna to modify the cases in a way that circumvents this problem. While McKenna’s strategy does avoid the problem, I argue that it faces a different difficulty. I conclude that buffer (...)
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  6. Self-Blame and Moral Responsibility.Andreas Brekke Carlsson (ed.) - forthcoming - Cambridge University Press.
  7. Deserved Guilt and Blameworthiness Over Time.Andreas Brekke Carlsson - forthcoming - In Self-Blame and Moral Responsibility.
  8. A Review of Elinor Mason’s Ways to be Blameworthy. [REVIEW]Andreas Brekke Carlsson - forthcoming - Criminal Law and Philosophy:1-7.
    In this review, I summarize Elinor Mason’s Ways to be Blameworthy and raise some worries concerning three aspects of her book: her account of the knowledge condition on moral responsibility, her notion of blame and its justification as well as Mason’s conception of extended blameworthiness.
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  9. Shame and Attributability.Andreas Brekke Carlsson - forthcoming - In David Shoemaker (ed.), Oxford Studies in Agency and Responsibility, vol. 6.
    Responsibility as accountability is normally taken to have stricter control conditions than responsibility as attributability. A common way to argue for this claim is to point to differences in the harmfulness of blame involved in these different kinds of responsibility. This paper argues that this explanation does not work once we shift our focus from other-directed blame to self-blame. To blame oneself in the accountability sense is to feel guilt and feeling guilty is to suffer. To blame oneself in the (...)
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  10. Ethical Attention and the Self in Iris Murdoch and Maurice Merleau-Ponty.Antony Fredriksson & Silvia Panizza - forthcoming - Journal of the British Society for Phenomenology:1-16.
    As attention, in philosophy, is mainly discussed in the philosophy of mind, its ethical aspects have remained relatively unexplored. One notable exception is Iris Murdoch. Another philosopher, Maur...
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  11. What is the Difference Between Weakness of Will and Compulsion?August Gorman - forthcoming - Journal of the American Philosophical Association.
    Orthodoxy holds that the difference between weakness of will and compulsion is a matter of the resistibility of an agent’s effective motivation, which makes control-based views of agency especially well-equipped to distinguish blameworthy weak-willed acts from non-blameworthy compulsive acts. I defend an alternative view that the difference between weakness and compulsion instead lies in the fact that agents would upon reflection give some conative weight to acting on their weak-willed desires for some aim other than to extinguish them, but not (...)
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  12. Free Will and Moral Luck.Robert J. Hartman - forthcoming - In Joseph Campbell, Kristin M. Mickelson & V. Alan White (eds.), A Companion to Free Will.
    Philosophers often consider problems of free will and moral luck in isolation from one another, but both are about control and moral responsibility. One problem of free will concerns the difficult task of specifying the kind of control over our actions that is necessary and sufficient to act freely. One problem of moral luck refers to the puzzling task of explaining whether and how people can be morally responsible for actions permeated by factors beyond their control. This chapter explicates and (...)
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  13. Responsibility in Negligence: Discussion of 'From Normativity to Responsibility'.Ori J. Herstein - forthcoming - Jerusalem Review of Legal Studies.
    This essay explains, expands, develops, and reflects on the Razian theory of responsibility and identity, focusing primarily on responsibility for negligent actions. I begin with setting the stage for understanding the importance of Joseph Raz’s theory and what motivates it. Next, the essay lays out the theory itself, and offers some elaboration on some of the less developed features of the theory. The essay closes with two critical reflections.
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  14. Agency and Responsibility.Pamela Hieronymi - forthcoming - In Luca Ferrero (ed.), Routledge Handbook for the Philosophy of Agency. New York, NY, USA:
    I first sketch the different things we might have in mind, when thinking about responsibility. I then relate each of those to possible investigations of human agency. The most interesting such relation, in my opinion, is that between agency and what I call “responsibility as mattering.” I offer some hypotheses about that relation.
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  15. Reasoning and its limits.David Jenkins - forthcoming - Synthese:1-17.
    Reasoning is naturally understood as something which we actively do—as a kind of action. However, reflection on the supposed limits to the extent to which it is up to us how our reasoning unfolds is often taken to cast doubt on this idea. I argue that, once articulated with care, challenges to the idea that reasoning is a kind of action can be seen to trade on problematic assumptions. In particular, they trade on assumptions which could be used to rule (...)
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  16. Responsibility-Foundation: Still Needed and Still Missing.Stephen Kershnar & Robert M. Kelly - forthcoming - Science, Religion and Culture.
    Responsibility is impossible because there is no responsibility-maker and there needs to be one if people are morally responsible. The two most plausible candidates, psychology and decision, fail. A person is not responsible for an unchosen psychology or a psychology that was chosen when the person is not responsible for the choice. This can be seen in intuitions about instantly-created and manipulated people. This result is further supported by the notion that, in general, the right, the good, and virtue rest (...)
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  17. How (Not) to Think About the Sense of 'Able' Relevant to Free Will.Simon Kittle - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy.
    This essay is an investigation into the sense of ‘able’ relevant to free will, where free will is understood as requiring the ability to do otherwise. I argue that van Inwagen’s recent functional specification of the relevant sense of ‘able’ is flawed, and that explicating the powers involved in free will shall likely require paying detailed attention to the semantics and pragmatics of ‘can’ and ‘able’. Further, I argue that van Inwagen’s promise-level ability requirement on free will is too strong. (...)
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  18. How (Not) to Construct Worlds with Responsibility.Fabio Lampert & Pedro Merlussi - forthcoming - Synthese:1-25.
    In a recent article, P. Roger Turner and Justin Capes argue that no one is, or ever was, even partly morally responsible for certain world-indexed truths. Here we present our reasons for thinking that their argument is unsound: It depends on the premise that possible worlds are maximally consistent states of affairs, which is, under plausible assumptions concerning states of affairs, demonstrably false. Our argument to show this is based on Bertrand Russell’s original ‘paradox of propositions’. We should then opt (...)
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  19. Manipulation and Machine Induction.Xiaofei Liu - forthcoming - Mind.
    One type of soft-line reply to manipulation arguments, which I call ‘the another-agent reply’, focuses on the existence of some controlling agent and how this can undermine the actor's moral responsibility. A well-known challenge to this type of reply is the so-called ‘machine induction’ case. This paper provides an argument for why ‘machine induction’ presents no real challenge to the another-agent reply. It further argues that any soft-liner who does not leave room for the existence of some controlling agent in (...)
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  20. Free Will, Determinism, and the Right Levels of Description.Leonhard Menges - forthcoming - Philosophical Explorations 1:1-18.
    Recently, many authors have argued that claims about determinism and free will are situated on different levels of description and that determinism on one level does not rule out free will on another. This paper focuses on Christian List’s version of this basic idea. It will be argued for the negative thesis that List’s account does not rule out the most plausible version of incompatibilism about free will and determinism and, more constructively, that a level-based approach to free will has (...)
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  21. Libertarian Free Will and the Physical Indeterminism Luck Objection.Dwayne Moore - forthcoming - Philosophia:1-24.
    Libertarian free will is, roughly, the view that agents cause actions to occur or not occur: Maddy’s decision to get a beer causes her to get up off her comfortable couch to get a beer, though she almost chose not to get up. Libertarian free will notoriously faces the luck objection, according to which agential states do not determine whether an action occurs or not, so it is beyond the control of the agent, hence lucky, whether an action occurs or (...)
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  22. "Lévy-Bruhl's Concept of" l'Art Moral Rationnel".Joseph Neyer - forthcoming - Social Research: An International Quarterly.
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  23. Can Ethics Be Taught?Hiran Perera-W. A. - forthcoming - Philosophical Studies.
  24. Human Goals Are Constitutive of Agency in Artificial Intelligence.Elena Popa - forthcoming - Philosophy and Technology:1-20.
    The question whether AI systems have agency is gaining increasing importance in discussions of responsibility for AI behavior. This paper argues that an approach to artificial agency needs to be teleological, and consider the role of human goals in particular if it is to adequately address the issue of responsibility. I will defend the view that while AI systems can be viewed as autonomous in the sense of identifying or pursuing goals, they rely on human goals and other values incorporated (...)
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  25. A Comprehensive Account of Blame: Self-Blame, Non-Moral Blame, and Blame for the Non-Voluntary.Douglas W. Portmore - forthcoming - In Andreas Brekke Carlsson (ed.), Self-Blame and Moral Responsibility. Cambridge:
    Blame is multifarious. It can be passionate or dispassionate. It can be expressed or kept private. We blame both the living and the dead. And we blame ourselves as well as others. What’s more, we blame ourselves, not only for our moral failings, but also for our non-moral failings: for our aesthetic bad taste, gustatory self-indulgence, or poor athletic performance. And we blame ourselves both for things over which we exerted agential control (e.g., our voluntary acts) and for things over (...)
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  26. Control, Attitudes, and Accountability.Douglas W. Portmore - forthcoming - In David Shoemaker (ed.), Oxford Studies in Agency and Responsibility. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
    It seems that we can be directly accountable for our reasons-responsive attitudes—e.g., our beliefs, desires, and intentions. Yet, we rarely, if ever, have volitional control over such attitudes, volitional control being the sort of control that we exert over our intentional actions. This presents a trilemma: (Horn 1) deny that we can be directly accountable for our reasons-responsive attitudes, (Horn 2) deny that φ’s being under our control is necessary for our being directly accountable for φ-ing, or (Horn 3) deny (...)
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  27. A Shelter From Luck: The Morality System Reconstructed.Matthieu Queloz - forthcoming - In András Szigeti & Matthew Talbert (eds.), Morality and Agency: Themes from Bernard Williams. Oxford University Press.
    Far from being indiscriminately critical of the ideas he associated with the morality system, Bernard Williams offered vindicatory explanations of its crucial building blocks, such as the moral/non-moral distinction, the idea of obligation, the voluntary/involuntary distinction, and the practice of blame. The rationale for these concessive moves, I argue, is that understanding what these ideas do for us when they are not in the service of the system is just as important to leading us out of the system as the (...)
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  28. Rank Offence: The Ecological Theory of Resentment.Samuel Reis-Dennis - forthcoming - Mind:fzab006.
    I argue that fitting resentment tracks unacceptable ‘ecological’ imbalances in relative social strength between victims and perpetrators that arise from violations of legitimate moral expectations. It does not respond purely, or even primarily, to offenders’ attitudes, and its proper targets need not be fully developed moral agents. It characteristically involves a wish for the restoration of social equilibrium rather than a demand for moral recognition or good will. To illuminate these contentions, I focus on cases that I believe demonstrate a (...)
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  29. A Kantian Quality of Will Account of Excuses.Matthé Scholten - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy:1-27.
    It is a common picture that Kant is committed to an uncompromising account of moral responsibility that leaves no room for excuses. I argue that this picture is mistaken. More specifically, I reconstruct a Kantian quality of will account of excuses according to which an agent is excused for performing a morally wrong (or omitting a morally obligatory) action if and only if the action (or omission) does not manifest a lack of good will on the part of the agent. (...)
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  30. Partial Desert.Tamler Sommers - forthcoming - In David Shoemaker (ed.), Oxford Studies in Agency and Responsibility. Oxford University Press.
    Theories of moral desert focus only on the personal culpability of the agent to determine the amount of blame and punishment the agent deserves. I defend an alternative account of desert, one that does not focus only facts about offenders and their offenses. In this revised framework, personal culpability can do no more than set upper and lower limits for deserved blame and punishment. For more precise judgments within that spectrum, additional factors must be considered, factors that are independent of (...)
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  31. Moral Responsibility, Alternative Possibilities, and Acting on One’s Own.Bradford Stockdale - forthcoming - The Journal of Ethics:1-14.
    Frankfurt-style cases (FSCs) have famously served as counterexamples to the Principle of Alternative Possibilities (PAP). The fine-grained version of the flicker defense has become one of the most popular responses to FSCs. Proponents of this defense argue that there is an alternative available to all agents in FSCs such that the cases do not show that PAP is false. Specifically, the agents could have done otherwise than decide on their own, and this available alternative is robust enough to ground moral (...)
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  32. Self-Control and Akrasia.Christine Tappolet - forthcoming - In Meghan Griffith, Kevin Timpe & Neil Levy (eds.), Routledge Companion to Free Will. Routledge.
    Akratic actions are often being thought to instantiate a paradigmatic self-control failure. . If we suppose that akrasia is opposed to self-control, the question is how akratic actions could be free and intentional. After all, it would seem that it is only if an action manifests self-control that it can count as free. My plan is to explore the relation between akrasia and self-control. The first section presents what I shall call the standard conception, according to which akrasia and self-control (...)
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  33. Are the Folk Historicists About Moral Responsibility?Matthew Taylor & Heather Maranges - forthcoming - Philosophical Psychology:1-22.
    Manipulation cases have figured prominently in philosophical debates about whether moral responsibility is in some sense deeply historical. Meanwhile, some philosophers have thought that folk thinking about manipulated agents may shed some light on the various argumentative burdens facing participants in that debate. This paper argues that folk thinking is, to some extent, deeply historical. Across three experiments, it is shown that a substantial number of participants did not attribute moral responsibility to agents with manipulation in their histories. The results (...)
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  34. The Epistemic Condition.Jan Willem Wieland - forthcoming - In Philip Robichaud & Jan Willem Wieland (eds.), Responsibility - The Epistemic Condition. Oxford University Press.
    This introduction provides an overview of the current state of the debate on the epistemic condition of moral responsibility. In sect. 1, we discuss the main concepts ‘ignorance’ and ‘responsibility’. In sect. 2, we ask why agents should inform themselves. In sect. 3, we describe what we take to be the core agreement among main participants in the debate. In sect. 4, we explain how this agreement invites a regress argument with a revisionist implication. In sect. 5, we provide an (...)
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  35. Blame Transfer.Jan Willem Wieland & Philip Robichaud - forthcoming - In Philip Robichaud & Jan Willem Wieland (eds.), Responsibility - The Epistemic Condition. Oxford University Press.
    Many philosophers accept derivative blameworthiness for ignorant conduct – the idea that the blameworthiness for one’s ignorance can ‘transfer’ to blameworthiness for one’s subsequent ignorant conduct. In this chapter we ask the question what it actually means that blameworthiness would transfer, and explore four distinct views and their merits. On views (I) and (II), one’s overall degree of blameworthiness is determined by factors relevant to one’s ignorance and/or one’s subsequent conduct, and transfer only involves an increase in scope. On views (...)
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  36. Being implicated: on the fittingness of guilt and indignation over outcomes.Gunnar Björnsson - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 178 (11):1–18.
    When is it fitting for an agent to feel guilt over an outcome, and for others to be morally indignant with her over it? A popular answer requires that the outcome happened because of the agent, or that the agent was a cause of the outcome. This paper reviews some of what makes this causal-explanatory view attractive before turning to two kinds of problem cases: cases of collective harms and cases of fungible switching. These, it is argued, motivate a related (...)
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  37. Epistemic Blame.Cameron Boult - 2021 - Philosophy Compass 16 (8):e12762.
    This paper provides a critical overview of recent work on epistemic blame. The paper identifies key features of the concept of epistemic blame and discusses two ways of motivating the importance of this concept. Four different approaches to the nature of epistemic blame are examined. Central issues surrounding the ethics and value of epistemic blame are identified and briefly explored. In addition to providing an overview of the state of the art of this growing but controversial field, the paper highlights (...)
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  38. Just Deserts: Debating Free Will.Gregg D. Caruso & Daniel C. Dennett - 2021 - 2021: Polity.
    Some thinkers argue that our best scientific theories about the world prove that free will is an illusion. Others disagree. The concept of free will is profoundly important to our self-understanding, our interpersonal relationships, and our moral and legal practices. If it turns out that no one is ever free and morally responsible, what would that mean for society, morality, meaning, and the law? Just Deserts brings together two philosophers – Daniel C. Dennett and Gregg D. Caruso – to debate (...)
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  39. Blameworthiness, Willings, and Practical Decisions.E. J. Coffman - 2021 - Philosophical Inquiries 9:49-56.
    What kinds of things can we be morally responsible for? Andrew Khoury offers an answer that includes (i) an argument for the impossibility of blameworthiness for overt action, and (ii) the assertion that “willings are the proper object of responsibility in the context of action”. After presenting an argument for the inconsistency of Khoury’s answer to our focal question, I defend the following partial answer that resembles, but differs importantly from, Khoury’s answer: one can be blameworthy for a practical decision—that (...)
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  40. Semicompatibilism and Moral Responsibility for Actions and Omissions: In Defence of Symmetrical Requirements.Taylor W. Cyr - 2021 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 99 (2):349-363.
    Although convinced by Frankfurt-style cases that moral responsibility does not require the ability to do otherwise, semicompatibilists have not wanted to accept a parallel claim about moral responsibility for omissions, and so they have accepted asymmetrical requirements on moral responsibility for actions and omissions. In previous work, I have presented a challenge to various attempts at defending this asymmetry. My view is that semicompatibilists should give up these defenses and instead adopt symmetrical requirements on moral responsibility for actions and omissions, (...)
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  41. Conceptual Responsibility.Trystan S. Goetze - 2021 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 64 (1-2):20-45.
    Conceptual engineering is concerned with the improvement of our concepts. The motivating thought behind many such projects is that some of our concepts are defective. But, if to use a defective concept is to do something wrong, and if to do something wrong one must be in control of what one is doing, there might be no defective concepts, since we typically are not in control of our concept use. To address this problem, this paper turns from appraising the concepts (...)
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  42. Concomitant Ignorance Excuses From Moral Responsibility.Robert J. Hartman - 2021 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 10 (1):58-65.
    Some philosophers contend that concomitant ignorance preserves moral responsibility for wrongdoing. An agent is concomitantly ignorant with respect to wrongdoing if and only if her ignorance is non-culpable, but she would freely have performed the same action if she were not ignorant. I, however, argue that concomitant ignorance excuses. I show that leading accounts of moral responsibility imply that concomitant ignorance excuses, and I debunk the view that concomitant ignorance preserves moral responsibility.
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  43. Heavenly Freedom and Two Models of Character Perfection.Robert J. Hartman - 2021 - Faith and Philosophy 38 (1):45-64.
    Human persons can act with libertarian freedom in heaven according to one prominent view, because they have freely acquired perfect virtue in their pre-heavenly lives such that acting rightly in heaven is volitionally necessary. But since the character of human persons is not perfect at death, how is their character perfected? On the unilateral model, God alone completes the perfection of their character, and, on the cooperative model, God continues to work with them in purgatory to perfect their own character. (...)
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  44. Neuroscience and Normativity: How Knowledge of the Brain Offers a Deeper Understanding of Moral and Legal Responsibility.William Hirstein - 2021 - Criminal Law and Philosophy:1-25.
    Neuroscience can relate to ethics and normative issues via the brain’s cognitive control network. This network accomplishes several executive processes, such as planning, task-switching, monitoring, and inhibiting. These processes allow us to increase the accuracy of our perceptions and our memory recall. They also allow us to plan much farther into the future, and with much more detail than any of our fellow mammals. These abilities also make us fitting subjects for responsibility claims. Their activity, or lack thereof, is at (...)
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  45. Responsibility and the ‘Pie Fallacy’.Alex Kaiserman - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 178 (11):3597-3616.
    Much of our ordinary thought and talk about responsibility exhibits what I call the ‘pie fallacy’—the fallacy of thinking that there is a fixed amount of responsibility for every outcome, to be distributed among all those, if any, who are responsible for it. The pie fallacy is a fallacy, I argue, because how responsible an agent is for some outcome is fully grounded in facts about the agent, the outcome and the relationships between them; it does not depend, in particular, (...)
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  46. The Ethics of Microaggression.Regina Rini - 2021 - Abingdon UK: Routledge.
    Slips of the tongue, unwitting favoritism and stereotyped assumptions are just some examples of microaggression. Nearly all of us commit microaggressions at some point, even if we don’t intend to. Yet over time a pattern of microaggression can cause considerable harm by reminding members of marginalized groups of their precarious position. The Ethics of Microaggression is a much needed and clearly written exploration of this pervasive yet complex problem. What is microaggression and how do we know when it is occurring? (...)
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  47. Distinctive Duress.Craig K. Agule - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (4):1007-1026.
    Duress is a defense in both law and morality. The bank teller who provides an armed robber with the bank vault combination, the innocent suspect who fabricates a story after hours of interrogation, the Good Samaritan who breaks into a private cabin in the woods to save a stranded hiker, and the father who drives at high speed to rush his injured child to the hospital—in deciding how to respond to agents like these, we should take into account that they (...)
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  48. Quality of Will and Radical Value Reversals.Gunnar Björnsson - 2020 - PEA Soup Symposium on Al Mele's Manipulated Agents: A Window to Moral Responsibility.
    Al Mele’s Manipulated Agents: A Window to Moral Responsibility (OUP 2019) is an extraordinarily careful and clear little book. A central recurring element is the use of examples of radical value reversals due to manipulation. In this commentary, I discuss the relevance of these examples to a simple quality of will account of blameworthiness without explicit historical conditions. Such an account, I suggest, can fairly straightforwardly explain how value reversals might mitigate blameworthiness. But I also suggest that the intuition that (...)
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  49. On Not Blaming and Victim Blaming.Joel Chow Ken Q. & Robert H. Wallace - 2020 - Teorema: International Journal of Philosophy 39 (3):95-128.
    In this paper we show that being blameworthy for not blaming and being blameworthy for victim blaming are structurally similar. Each involve the two traditional contours of moral responsibility: a knowledge condition and a control condition. But interestingly, in these cases knowledge and control are importantly interrelated. Being in a relationship with another person affords us varying degrees of knowledge about them. This knowledge in turn affords agents in relationships varying degrees of influence over one another. Cases where an agent (...)
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  50. The Ethics of Blame: A Primer.D. Justin Coates - 2020 - In Gerhard Ernst & Sebastian Schmidt (eds.), The Ethics of Belief and Beyond. Understanding Mental Normativity. Abingdon: Routledge. pp. 192-214.
    It is widely held that if an agent is not morally responsible for her action – i.e., if she is not deserving of blame – then we have a (decisive) reason to refrain from blaming her. But though this is true, the fact that someone is deserving of blame isn’t clearly sufficient for there to be most allthings- considered reason for blaming that person. Other considerations bear on this question as well. Coates offers an account of some of these considerations (...)
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1 — 50 / 573