Philosophical Studies 173 (5):1203-1232 (2016)

Chandra Sripada
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
According to Dewey, we are responsible for our conduct because it is “ourselves objectified in action”. This idea lies at the heart of an increasingly influential deep self approach to moral responsibility. Existing formulations of deep self views have two major problems: They are often underspecified, and they tend to understand the nature of the deep self in excessively rationalistic terms. Here I propose a new deep self theory of moral responsibility called the Self-Expression account that addresses these issues. The account is composed of two parts. The first part answers the question, What is a deep self? Theorists have tended to favor cognitive views that understand the deep self in terms of rationally formed evaluative judgment. I propose instead a conative view that says one’s deep self consists of a distinctive kind of pro-attitude, cares, and I provide an account of cares in terms of their distinctive psychological functional role. The second part answers the question, When does an action express one’s deep self? I criticize the agentially demanding conditions set out in existing views and propose a more minimalist alternative. I show that the Self-Expression account handles issues that bedeviled traditional deep self views, including how to explain moral responsibility for spontaneous, out of character, and weak-willed actions
Keywords Moral responsibility  Deep self  Real self  Expression  Endorsement  Susan Wolf  Gary Watson  Harry Frankfurt
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DOI 10.1007/s11098-015-0527-9
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References found in this work BETA

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Citations of this work BETA

Free Will.Timothy O'Connor & Christopher Evan Franklin - 2018 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Vigilance and Control.Samuel Murray & Manuel Vargas - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (3):825-843.
Implicit Bias.Michael Brownstein - 2017 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Explaining (Away) the Epistemic Condition on Moral Responsibility.Gunnar Björnsson - 2017 - In Philip Robichaud & Jan Willem Wieland (eds.), Responsibility - The Epistemic Condition. Oxford University Press. pp. 146–162.
Scaffolding Agency: A Proleptic Account of the Reactive Attitudes.Victoria McGeer - 2019 - European Journal of Philosophy 27 (2):301-323.

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