Narrative capacity and moral responsibility

Social Philosophy and Policy 36 (1):93-113 (2019)

Abstract

:My main aim in this essay is to argue that “narrative capacity” is a genuine feature of our mental lives and a skill that enables us to become full-fledged morally responsible agents. I approach the issue from the standpoint of reasons-responsiveness. Reasons-responsiveness theories center on the idea that moral responsibility requires sufficient sensitivity to reasons. I argue that our capacity to understand and tell stories has an important role to play in this sensitivity. Without such skill we would be cut off from the full range of reasons to which moral agents need access and/or we would be deficient in the ability to weigh the reasons that we recognize. After arguing for the relevance of narrative skill, I argue that understanding the connection between reasons-sensitivity and narrative confers additional benefits. It illuminates important psychological structures and helps to explain some cases of diminished blame.

Download options

PhilArchive



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 72,694

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Analytics

Added to PP
2019-09-04

Downloads
19 (#587,809)

6 months
1 (#388,319)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Meghan Griffith
Davidson College

References found in this work

Freedom of the Will and the Concept of a Person.Harry Frankfurt - 1971 - Journal of Philosophy 68 (1):5-20.
Narrative Explanation.J. David Velleman - 2003 - Philosophical Review 112 (1):1-25.
Caring and Internality.Agnieszka Jaworska - 2007 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 74 (3):529-568.

View all 7 references / Add more references

Citations of this work

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Two Ways of Socialising Responsibility: Circumstantialist and Scaffolded-Responsiveness.Jules Holroyd - 2018 - In Katrina Hutchinson, Catriona Mackenzie & Marina Oshana (eds.), Social Dimensions of Moral Responsibility. New York, USA: pp. 137-162.
Moral Responsibility and the Psychopath.Walter Glannon - 2008 - Neuroethics 1 (3):158-166.
Quality of Reasons and Degrees of Responsibility.Hannah Tierney - 2019 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 97 (4):661-672.
Moral Responsibility and Motivational Mechanisms.James D. Steadman - 2012 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 15 (4):473 - 492.
Reasons and Real Selves.Manuel Vargas - 2009 - Ideas Y Valores 58 (141):67-84.
Responsible Persons.Walter Peter Glannon - 1995 - Dissertation, Yale University
Moral Agency: An Embodied Narrative Approach.Hardt Rosa Erica - 2017 - Dissertation, University of Edinburgh