Insanity, Deep Selves, and Moral Responsibility: The Case of JoJo

Review of Philosophy and Psychology 1 (3): 319-332 (2010)
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Abstract

Susan Wolf objects to the Real Self View (RSV) of moral responsibility that it is insufficient, that even if one’s actions are expressions of one’s deepest or “real” self, one might still not be morally responsible for one’s actions. As a counterexample to the RSV, Wolf offers the case of JoJo, the son of a dictator, who endorses his father’s (evil) values, but who is insane and is thus not responsible for his actions. Wolf’s data for this conclusion derives from what she takes to be our “pretheoretic intuitions” about JoJo. As it turns out, though, experimental data on actual pretheoretic intuitions does not seem to support Wolf’s claim. In this paper, we present such data and argue that, at least with respect to this particular objection, the RSV can survive Wolf’s attack intact.

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Author Profiles

David Faraci
Durham University
David Shoemaker
Cornell University

References found in this work

What we owe to each other.Thomas Scanlon - 1998 - Cambridge, Mass.: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
Moral dimensions: permissibility, meaning, blame.Thomas Scanlon - 2008 - Cambridge, Mass.: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
Freedom of the will and the concept of a person.Harry G. Frankfurt - 1971 - Journal of Philosophy 68 (1):5-20.
Responsibility and the Moral Sentiments.R. Jay Wallace - 1994 - Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.
What We Owe to Each Other.Thomas Scanlon - 2002 - Mind 111 (442):323-354.

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