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Movers and Makers

Carr, Vanessa; (2019) Movers and Makers. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London).

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Abstract

Human beings, and various other beings, are agents, such that we can act. We can move things, for example, and we can make things. When we act, changes and states of the world come about, and they come about as a result of our acting. When we move something, a movement comes about, along with new locational states of the moved object. When we make something, an object’s coming-into-existence comes about, along with new states of that newly-made object. We bear a particular kind of responsibility for those changes and states that come about in this sort of way. I call the kind of responsibility that we have for those changes and states that come about as a result of our actions: agential responsibility. But what more can be said about what it is to be agentially responsible for a change or states of the world? That is the question that this thesis addresses. It is argued here that, contrary to a favoured view, it is not an essential part of what it is to be agentially responsible for a change or state that the agent causes that change or state. It is put forward that agential responsibility is, instead, a primitive form of responsibility, independent of causal responsibility. The concept of agential responsibility, along with the concepts of agency and action, is a primitive concept, not to be elucidated in non-agential terms. What can be said is simply that for a change or state to be such that one is agentially responsible for it is for its coming about to be explained in terms of one’s acting. I argue to this conclusion over seven chapters.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: Movers and Makers
Event: UCL (University College London)
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author 2019. Original content in this thesis is licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) Licence (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/). Any third-party copyright material present remains the property of its respective owner(s) and is licensed under its existing terms. Access may initially be restricted at the author’s request.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Arts and Humanities
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Dept of Philosophy
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10085027
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