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The Nature of Moral Responsibility

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Randolph Clarke
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Notes on Contributors


Part I. The Nature of Moral Responsibility: Some Frameworks
Chapter 1. Neal A. Tognazzini, The Strains of Involvement
Chapter 2. Michael J. Zimmerman, Varieties of Moral Responsibility
Chapter 3. Gideon Rosen, The Alethic Conception of Moral Responsibility
Chapter 4. T. M. Scanlon, Forms and Conditions of Responsibility

Part II. Quality of Will and the Deep Self
Chapter 5. David Shoemaker, Ecumenical Attributability
Chapter 6. Nomy Arpaly, Huckleberry Finn Revisited: Inverse Akrasia and Moral Ignorance
Chapter 7. Julia Driver, Appraisability, Attributability, and Moral Agency
Chapter 8. Holly M. Smith, Dual-Process Theory and Moral Responsibility

Part III. Responsibility in Practice: Communication, Substantive Responsibility, and Moral
Chapter 9. Coleen Macnamara, Blame, Communication, and Morally Responsible Agency
Chapter 10. George Sher, Responsibility, Conversation, and Communication
Chapter 11. Rahul Kumar, Contractualism and the Roots of Responsibility
Chapter 12. Derk Pereboom, A Notion of Moral Responsibility Immune to the Threat from
Causal Determination
Suggested Further Readings
What is it to be morally responsible for something? Recent philosophical work reveals considerable disagreement on the question. Indeed, some theorists claim to distinguish several varieties of moral responsibility, with different conditions that must be satisfied if one is to bear responsibility of one or another of these kinds.

Debate on this point turns partly on disagreement about the kinds of responses made appropriate when one is blameworthy or praiseworthy. It is generally agreed that these include "reactive attitudes" such as resentment and gratitude, but theorists disagree about the nature of these attitudes. They dispute the connections between moral responsibility, desert, and the justification of punishment as well.

Many theorists take it that, whatever the appropriate responses are, they are responses to an agent's "quality of will," but there is no consensus on what this comes to. Are the agent's beliefs about the moral status of her behavior what matter, or is it what she cares about, or what she judges important?

This volume presents twelve original essays from participants in these debates. The contributors include prominent established figures as well as influential younger philosophers. A substantive introduction by the editors surveys recent debates and situates the contributions within it.

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