Agency as difference-making: causal foundations of moral responsibility

Dissertation, London School of Economics and Political Science (2015)
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Abstract

We are responsible for some things but not for others. In this thesis, I investigate what it takes for an entity to be responsible for something. This question has two components: agents and actions. I argue for a permissive view about agents. Entities such as groups or artificially intelligent systems may be agents in the sense required for responsibility. With respect to actions, I argue for a causal view. The relation in virtue of which agents are responsible for actions is a causal one. I claim that responsibility requires causation and I develop a causal account of agency. This account is particularly apt for addressing the relationship between agency and moral responsibility and sheds light on the causal foundations of moral responsibility.

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Johannes Himmelreich
Syracuse University

References found in this work

Word and Object.Willard Van Orman Quine - 1960 - Cambridge, MA, USA: MIT Press.
Nicomachean Ethics.H. Aristotle & Rackham - 2019 - Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing Company.
On the Plurality of Worlds.David Lewis - 1986 - Wiley-Blackwell.

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