Philosophical Quarterly 69 (276):555-573 (2019)

Authors
Anneli Jefferson
Cardiff University
Abstract
I defend an instrumentalist account of moral responsibility and adopt Manuel Vargas’ idea that our responsibility practices are justified by their effects. However, whereas Vargas gives an independent account of morally responsible agency, on my account, responsible agency is defined as the susceptibility to developing and maintaining moral agency through being held responsible. I show that the instrumentalism I propose can avoid some problems more crude forms of instrumentalism encounter by adopting aspects of Strawsonian accounts. I then show the implications for our understanding of responsibility: my account requires us to adopt a graded notion of responsibility and accept the claim that certain individuals may not be responsible because they are not susceptible to being influenced by our moral responsibility practices. Finally, I discuss whether the account is committed to allowing the instrumentalization of non-responsible individuals in cases where blaming them may benefit others’ moral agency.
Keywords moral responsibility  consequentialism  reactive attitudes  instrumentalization
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DOI 10.1093/pq/pqy062
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References found in this work BETA

Freedom and Resentment.Peter Strawson - 1962 - Proceedings of the British Academy 48:187-211.
Responsibility From the Margins.David Shoemaker - 2015 - Oxford University Press.
Alienation, Consequentialism, and the Demands of Morality.Peter Railton - 1984 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 13 (2):134-171.
.Peter Railton - 1985 - Rowman & Littlefield.

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Citations of this work BETA

The Self-Effacing Functionality of Blame.Matthieu Queloz - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 178 (4):1361-1379.
Epistemic Blame.Cameron Boult - 2021 - Philosophy Compass 16 (8):e12762.
Moral Responsibility.Andrew Eshleman - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

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