Responsibility and disability

Metaphilosophy 40 (3-4):438-461 (2009)
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Abstract

This essay explores the boundaries of the moral community—the collection of agents eligible for moral responsibility—by focusing on those just inside it and those just outside it. In particular, it contrasts mild mental retardation with psychopathy, specifically among adults. For those who work with and know them, adults with mild mental retardation are thought to be obvious members of the moral community (albeit not full-fledged members). For those who work with and theorize about adult psychopaths, by contrast, they are not members of the moral community (albeit not in such a full-fledged fashion as the insane). Both psychopaths and adults with MMR have a disability, and the essay is interested in how disability sometimes exempts one from the moral community and sometimes doesn't. It will be through two associated puzzles that we will eventually come to see the complicated tripartite relation between disability, responsibility, and moral community.

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David Shoemaker
Cornell University

Citations of this work

Self-expression: a deep self theory of moral responsibility.Chandra Sripada - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (5):1203-1232.
Qualities of will.David Shoemaker - 2013 - Social Philosophy and Policy 30 (1-2):95-120.
Responsibility Without Identity.David Shoemaker - 2012 - The Harvard Review of Philosophy 18 (1):109-132.
Social Constraints On Moral Address.Vanessa Carbonell - 2017 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 98 (1):167-189.

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References found in this work

What we owe to each other.Thomas Scanlon - 1998 - Cambridge: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
Responsibility and Control: A Theory of Moral Responsibility.John Martin Fischer & Mark Ravizza - 1998 - New York: Cambridge University Press. Edited by Mark Ravizza.
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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