Moral Responsibility for Actions and Omissions: The Asymmetry Thesis Rejected

Erkenntnis 86 (5):1225-1237 (2021)
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Abstract

There is an important contemporary debate in moral responsibility about whether the following asymmetry thesis is true: moral responsibility for actions does not require alternative possibilities but moral responsibility for omissions does. In this paper, we do two things. First, we consider and reject a recent argument against the asymmetry thesis, contending that the argument fails because it rests on a false view about the metaphysics of omissions. Second, we develop and defend a new argument against the asymmetry thesis, one that avoids the problem with the first argument by not resting on any assumptions about what omissions are metaphysically.

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Author Profiles

Yuanyuan Liu
University of Tennessee, Knoxville
David Palmer
University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Citations of this work

Excuses and Alternatives.Simon-Pierre Chevarie-Cossette - 2021 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 51 (1):1-16.

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References found in this work

Responsibility and Control: A Theory of Moral Responsibility.John Martin Fischer & Mark Ravizza - 1998 - New York: Cambridge University Press. Edited by Mark Ravizza.
Free Will, Agency, and Meaning in Life.Derk Pereboom - 2014 - New York: Oxford University Press.
Alternate Possibilities and Moral Responsibility.Harry G. Frankfurt - 1969 - Journal of Philosophy 66 (23):829-839.
The Significance of Free Will.Robert Kane - 1996 - New York, US: Oxford University Press USA.
Facing the future: agents and choices in our indeterminist world.Nuel D. Belnap - 2001 - New York: Oxford University Press. Edited by Michael Perloff & Ming Xu.

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