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Responsibility as Reasons-Possession

Sekine, Kenta; (2020) Responsibility as Reasons-Possession. Masters thesis (M.Phil.Stud), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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In this dissertation I defend a theory of moral responsibility I call the Reasons View, according to which our responsibility for things is principally a matter of our possessing normative reasons bearing on those things. More specifically, my claim is that S is morally responsible for φ-ing if and only if S has a normative reason to φ that is derivatively a normative reason to effectively try to φ, where φ includes omissions. My argument for this claim develops over three Chapters. In Chapter 1 I offer an interpretation, or perhaps reconstruction, of Angela Smith’s theory of ‘responsibility as answerability’ as expressing a Reasons View in the above sense. I defend the Reasons View against possible confusions concerning its highly permissive character, its distinction between judgments of blame- and praiseworthiness and judgments of responsibility, and what it implies about the grounds of moral response. Chapter 2 inquires after the conditions of reasons-possession using the Reasons Implies Can principle. I consider metaphysical, physical and powers-based readings of ‘can,’ and eventually settle on a powers-based reading according to which the principle states a capacity-plus-opportunity condition. In Chapter 3 I suggest Joseph Raz’s work exhibits structural features of the Reasons View, and develop my own Reasons View from recognisably Razian materials. Through a consideration of disability, I argue that the responsibility-relevant normative reasons to φ are those that are derivatively normative reasons to effectively try to φ. I go on to consider how, in the presence of such normative reasons (and thus responsibility), privative manifestations of rational powers relate to fault.

Type: Thesis (Masters)
Qualification: M.Phil.Stud
Title: Responsibility as Reasons-Possession
Event: UCL (University College London)
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author 2020. 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/10114573
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