Actuality and responsibility

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

14 Scopus citations

Abstract

Actual-sequence views of responsibility are views according to which moral responsibility is a function of actual sequences, histories, or ancestries. In recent years these views have acquired much popularity as an attractive kind of compatibilist answer to the problem of determinism and the freedom of the will. But what does it mean to say that responsibility is 'a function of the actual sequence'? In this paper I examine different possible ways to cash out this idea. I show that one of them is immune to important objections to which the others are prey. This motivates a type of actual-sequence view that is unorthodox in two main respects. First, it understands the expression 'the actual sequence' in a way that is different from the way in which it seems typically to have been understood. Second, on this view, non-actualized possibilities of a certain kind are always relevant to the moral responsibility of agents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1071-1097
Number of pages27
JournalMind
Volume120
Issue number480
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Philosophy

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