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A Theory of Feelings Anger and Forgiveness Philosophizing Madness from Nietzsche to Derrida"My Madness Saved Me"10 Good Questions about Life and Death12 Modern Philosophers50 Reasons People Give for Believing in a GodA Cabinet of Philosophical CuriositiesA Case for IronyA Companion to BioethicsA Companion to Buddhist PhilosophyA Companion to FoucaultA Companion to GenethicsA Companion to GenethicsA Companion to HumeA Companion to KantA Companion to Phenomenology and ExistentialismA Companion to PragmatismA Companion to the Philosophy of ActionA Companion to the Philosophy of BiologyA Companion to the Philosophy of LiteratureA Conceptual History of PsychologyA Critical Overview of Biological FunctionsA Critique of Naturalistic Philosophies of MindA Cursing Brain?A Delicate BalanceA Farewell to AlmsA Fragile LifeA Frightening LoveA Future for PresentismA Guide to the Good LifeA History of PsychiatryA History of the MindA Life Worth LivingA Manual of Experimental PhilosophyA Map of the MindA Metaphysics of PsychopathologyA Mind So RareA Minimal LibertarianismA Natural History of Human MoralityA Natural History of Human ThinkingA Natural History of VisionA Parliament of MindsA Philosopher Looks at The Sense of HumorA Philosophical DiseaseA Philosophy for the Science of Well-BeingA Philosophy of BoredomA Philosophy of Cinematic ArtA Philosophy of CultureA Philosophy of EmptinessA Philosophy of FearA Philosophy of PainA Physicalist ManifestoA Place for ConsciousnessA Question of TrustA Research Agenda for DSM-VA Revolution of the MindA Sentimentalist Theory of the MindA Stroll With William JamesA Tapestry of ValuesA Tear is an Intellectual ThingA Theory of FreedomA Thousand MachinesA Universe of ConsciousnessA Very Bad WizardA Very Bad Wizard: Morality Behind the CurtainA Virtue EpistemologyA World Full of GodsA World Without ValuesAbout FaceAbout the Beginning of the Hermeneutics of the SelfAction and ResponsibilityAction in ContextAction Theory, Rationality and CompulsionAction, Contemplation, and HappinessAction, Emotion and WillAdam SmithAdaptive DynamicsAddictionAddictionAddiction and ResponsibilityAddiction and Self-ControlAddiction Is a ChoiceAdvances in Identity Theory and ResearchAftermathAfterwarAgainst AdaptationAgainst AutonomyAgainst BioethicsAgainst HappinessAgainst HealthAgainst MarriageAgency and ActionAgency and AnswerabilityAgency and EmbodimentAgency and ResponsibilityAgency, Freedom, and Moral ResponsibilityAl-JununAlain BadiouAlain BadiouAlasdair MacIntyreAlien Landscapes?Altered EgosAmbivalenceAn Anthology of Psychiatric EthicsAn Ethics for TodayAn Intellectual History of CannibalismAn Interpretation of DesireAn Introduction to EthicsAn Introduction to Kant's Moral Philosophy An Introduction to Philosophy of EducationAn Introduction to the Philosophy of MindAn Introduction to the Philosophy of MindAn Introduction to the Philosophy of PsychologyAn Introductory Philosophy of MedicineAn Odd Kind of FameAnalytic FreudAnalytic Philosophy in AmericaAncient AngerAncient Models of MindAncient Philosophy of the SelfAngerAnimal LessonsAnimal MindsAnimals Like UsAnnihilationAnother PlanetAnswers for AristotleAnti-ExternalismAnti-Individualism and KnowledgeAntigone’s ClaimAntipsychiatryAre We Hardwired?Are Women Human?Arguing about DisabilityArguing About Human NatureAristotle and the Philosophy of FriendshipAristotle on Practical WisdomAristotle's ChildrenAristotle's Ethics and Moral ResponsibilityAristotle, Emotions, and EducationArt & MoralityArt After Conceptual ArtArt in Three DimensionsArt, Self and KnowledgeArtificial ConsciousnessArtificial HappinessAspects of PsychologismAsylum to ActionAt the Existentialist CaféAtonement and ForgivenessAttention is Cognitive UnisonAutobiography as PhilosophyAutonomyAutonomy and Mental DisorderAutonomy and the Challenges to LiberalismBabies by DesignBackslidingBadiouBadiou's DeleuzeBadiou, Balibar, Ranciere: Rethinking EmancipationBare Facts And Naked TruthsBasic Desert, Reactive Attitudes and Free WillBattlestar Galactica and PhilosophyBe Like the FoxBeautyBecoming a SubjectBecoming HumanBefore ConsciousnessBehavingBehavioral Genetics in the Postgenomic EraBeing AmoralBeing HumanBeing Mentally Ill: A Sociological Theory Being No OneBeing Realistic about ReasonsBeing ReducedBeing YourselfBelief's Own EthicsBending Over BackwardsBerlin Childhood around 1900Bernard WilliamsBertrand RussellBest ExplanationsBetter than BothBetter Than WellBetween Two WorldsBeyond HealthBeyond Hegel and NietzscheBeyond KuhnBeyond LossBeyond MelancholyBeyond Moral JudgmentBeyond PostmodernismBeyond ReductionBeyond SchizophreniaBeyond the DSM StoryBioethicsBioethics and the BrainBioethics in the ClinicBiological Complexity and Integrative PluralismBiology Is TechnologyBiosBipolar ExpeditionsBlackwell Companion to the Philosophy of EducationBlindsight & The Nature of ConsciousnessBlues - Philosophy for EveryoneBlushBob Dylan and PhilosophyBody ConsciousnessBody Image And Body SchemaBody ImagesBody LanguageBody MattersBody WorkBody-Subjects and Disordered MindsBoundBoundaries of the MindBoyleBrain Evolution and CognitionBrain FictionBrain, Mind, and Human Behavior in Contemporary Cognitive ScienceBrain-WiseBrainchildrenBrains, Buddhas, and BelievingBrainstormingBrave New WorldsBreakdown of WillBrief Child Therapy Homework PlannerBrief Inquiry into the Meaning of Sin and FaithBrief Therapy Homework PlannerBritain on the CouchBritish Idealism and the Concept of the SelfBrute RationalityBuffy the Vampire Slayer and PhilosophyBut Is It Art?Camus and SartreCartesian LinguisticsCartographies of the MindCarving Nature at Its JointsCase Studies in Biomedical Research EthicsCassandra's DaughterCato's TearsCausation and CounterfactualsCauses, Laws, and Free WillChanging Conceptions of the Child from the Renaissance to Post-ModernityChanging the SubjectChaosophyCharacter and Moral Psychology Character as Moral FictionCharles DarwinCherishmentChildhood and the Philosophy of EducationChildrenChildren, Families, and Health Care Decision MakingChoices and ConflictChoosing Not to ChooseChristmas - Philosophy for EveryoneCinema, Philosophy, BergmanCinematic MythmakingCity and Soul in Plato's RepublicClassifying MadnessClear and Queer ThinkingClinical EthicsClinical Psychiatry in Imperial GermanyCodependent ForevermoreCoffee - Philosophy for EveryoneCognition and the BrainCognition of Value in Aristotle's EthicsCognition Through Understanding: Self-Knowledge, Interlocution, Reasoning, ReflectionCognitive BiologyCognitive FictionsCognitive Neuroscience of EmotionCognitive Systems and the Extended MindCognitive Systems and the Extended Mind Cognitive Theories of Mental IllnessCoherence in Thought and ActionCollected Papers, Volume 1Collected Papers, Volume 2College SexComedy IncarnateCommitmentCommunicative Action and Rational ChoiceCompetence, Condemnation, and CommitmentConcealment And ExposureConcepts and Causes in the Philosophy of DiseaseConceptual Analysis and Philosophical NaturalismConceptual Art and PaintingConceptual Issues in Evolutionary BiologyConfessionsConfucianismConnected, or What It Means to Live in the Network SocietyConquest of AbundanceConscience and ConvenienceConsciousnessConsciousnessConsciousnessConsciousness ConsciousnessConsciousness and Its Place in NatureConsciousness and LanguageConsciousness and Mental LifeConsciousness and MindConsciousness and the NovelConsciousness and the SelfConsciousness EmergingConsciousness EvolvingConsciousness ExplainedConsciousness in ActionConsciousness RecoveredConsciousness RevisitedConsciousness, Color, and ContentConsole and ClassifyConstructing the WorldConstructive AnalysisContemporary Debates In Applied EthicsContemporary Debates in Moral TheoryContemporary Debates in Philosophy of BiologyContemporary Debates in Philosophy of MindContemporary Debates in Political PhilosophyContemporary Debates in Social PhilosophyContemporary Perspectives on Natural LawContested Knowledge: Social Theory TodayContesting PsychiatryContext and the AttitudesContinental Philosophy of ScienceControlControlling Our DestiniesConversations About Psychology and Sexual OrientationCopernicus, Darwin and FreudCrazy for YouCreating a Life of Meaning and CompassionCreating ConsilienceCreating HysteriaCreating Mental IllnessCreating Scientific ConceptsCreating the American JunkieCreation, Rationality and AutonomyCreatures Like Us?Crime and CulpabilityCrime, Punishment, and Mental IllnessCrimes of ReasonCritical New Perspectives on Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity DisorderCritical PsychiatryCritical PsychologyCritical ResistanceCritical Thinking About PsychologyCritical VisionsCross and KhoraCruel CompassionCTRL [SPACE]Cultural Psychology of the SelfCultural Theory: An IntroductionCulture and Psychiatric DiagnosisCulture and Subjective Well-BeingCulture of DeathCultures of NeurastheniaCurious EmotionsCurrent Controversies in Experimental PhilosophyCurrent Controversies in Values and ScienceCustom and Reason in HumeCustomers and Patrons of the Mad-TradeCutting God in Half - And Putting the Pieces Together AgainCylons in AmericaDamaged IdentitiesDamasio's Error and Descartes' TruthDangerous EmotionsDaniel DennettDaniel DennettDark AgesDarwin and DesignDarwin's Dangerous IdeaDarwin's LegacyDarwin, God and the Meaning of LifeDarwinian PsychiatryDarwinian ReductionismDarwinizing CultureDating: Philosophy for EveryoneDeathDeathDeath and CharacterDeath and CompassionDeath and the AfterlifeDebating DesignDebating HumanismDecision Making, Personhood and DementiaDecomposing the WillDeconstructing PsychotherapyDeconstruction and DemocracyDeeper Than DarwinDeeper than ReasonDefending Science - within ReasonDefining Psychopathology in the 21st CenturyDegrees of BeliefDeleuze and the Concepts of CinemaDelusion and Self-DeceptionDelusions and Other Irrational BeliefsDelusions and the Madness of the MassesDementiaDemons, Dreamers, and MadmenDennett and Ricoeur on the Narrative SelfDennett’s PhilosophyDepression Is a ChoiceDepression, Emotion and the SelfDepthDerrida, Deleuze, PsychoanalysisDescartesDescartes and the Passionate MindDescartes' CogitoDescartes's Changing MindDescartes's Concept of MindDescribing Inner Experience?Descriptions and PrescriptionsDesembodied Spirits and Deanimated Bodies Desert Islands and Other Texts (1953-1974)Desire and AffectDesire, Love, and IdentityDesire, Practical Reason, and the GoodDeveloping the VirtuesDiagnosing the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental DisordersDialectics of the SelfDid My Neurons Make Me Do It?Difference and IdentityDigital SoulDimensional Models of Personality DisordersDisability, Difference, DiscriminationDisjunctivismDisorders of VolitionDisorientation and Moral LifeDispatches from the Freud WarsDisrupted LivesDistractionDisturbed ConsciousnessDivided Minds and Successive SelvesDo Apes Read Minds?Do Fish Feel Pain?Do We Still Need Doctors?Does Consciousness Cause Behavior?Does the Woman Exist?Doing without ConceptsDon't be FooledDon't Believe Everything You ThinkDonald DavidsonDonald Davidson on Truth, Meaning, and the MentalDoubting Darwin?Down GirlDreaming and Other Involuntary MentationDSM-IV SourcebookDSM-IV SourcebookDSM-IV-TR CasebookDworkin and His CriticsDying to KnowDynamics in ActionDysthymia and the Spectrum of Chronic DepressionsEccentricsEducational MetamorphosesEffective IntentionsElbow Room: The Varieties of Free Will Worth WantingEmbodied Minds in ActionEmbodied RhetoricsEmbodied Selves and Divided MindsEmbryos under the MicroscopeEmergencies in Mental Health PracticeEmerging Conceptual, Ethical and Policy Issues in BionanotechnologyEmotionEmotion and ConsciousnessEmotion and PsycheEmotion ExperienceEmotion RegulationEmotion, Evolution, And RationalityEmotional IntelligenceEmotional ReasonEmotional ReasonEmotional TruthEmotions in Humans and ArtifactsEmotions in the Moral LifeEmotions in the Moral LifeEmotions, Value, and AgencyEmpathyEmpathy and AgencyEmpathy and Moral DevelopmentEmpathy and MoralityEmpathy in the Context of PhilosophyEmpirical Ethics in PsychiatryEnactivist InterventionsEnchanted LoomsEngaging BuddhismEngineering the Human GermlineEnjoymentEnvyEpicureanismEpistemic LuckEpistemologyEpistemology and EmotionsEpistemology and the Psychology of Human JudgmentEros and the GoodErotic MoralityEssays in Social NeuroscienceEssays in the Metaphysics of Mind Essays on Derek Parfit's On What MattersEssays on Free Will and Moral ResponsibilityEssays on Nonconceptual ContentEssays on Philosophical CounselingEssays on Reference, Language, and MindEssays on the Concept of Mind in Early-Modern PhilosophyEssential Sources in the Scientific Study of ConsciousnessEsssential Philosophy of PsychiatryEternal Sunshine of the Spotless MindEthical Conflicts in PsychologyEthical Issues in Forensic Mental Health ResearchEthical Issues in Human CloningEthical TheoryEthicsEthicsEthics and the A PrioriEthics and the Metaphysics of MedicineEthics and Values in PsychotherapyEthics Done RightEthics ExpertiseEthics in Plain EnglishEthics in PracticeEthics in Psychiatric ResearchEthics of PsychiatryEthics without OntologyEuropean Review of Philosophy. Vol. 5Everyday IrrationalityEvil in Modern ThoughtEvolutionEvolution and the Human MindEvolution's RainbowEvolutionary Origins of MoralityEvolutionary PsychologyExamined LifeExamined LivesExistential AmericaExistentialismExistentialism and Romantic LoveExperimental PhilosophyExperimental PhilosophyExperimental PhilosophyExperimental Philosophy, Rationalism, and NaturalismExperiments in EthicsExplaining ConsciousnessExplaining the BrainExplaining the Computational MindExplanatory PluralismExploding the Gene MythExploring HappinessExploring the SelfExpression and the InnerExpressions of JudgmentExtraordinary Science and PsychiatryFaces of IntentionFact and ValueFact and Value in EmotionFacts and ValuesFacts, Values, and NormsFads and Fallacies in the Social SciencesFaith and Wisdom in ScienceFatherhoodFear of KnowledgeFearless SpeechFeeling Pain and Being in PainFeelings and EmotionsFeelings of BeingFellow-Feeling and the Moral LifeFeminism and Its DiscontentsFeminism and Philosophy of ScienceFeminist Ethics and Social and Political PhilosophyFeminist Interpretations of Rene DescartesFeminist TheoryField Notes from ElsewhereFinding Consciousness in the BrainFingerprints of GodFlesh in the Age of ReasonFolk Psychological NarrativesFolk Psychology Re-AssessedForces of HabitForgivenessForgiveness and LoveForgiveness and RetributionFoucault 2.0Foucault and PhilosophyFoucault NowFoucault, Psychology and the Analytics of PowerFoundational Issues in Human Brain MappingFoundations of Ethical Practice, Research, and Teaching in PsychologyFour Views on Free WillFrank Ramsey (1903-1930)Free WillFree WillFree WillFree WillFree Will and Action ExplanationFree Will and LuckFree Will And Moral ResponsibilityFree Will as an Open Scientific ProblemFree Will, Agency, and Meaning in LifeFree: Why Science Hasn't Disproved Free WillFreedomFreedom and DeterminismFreedom And NeurobiologyFreedom and ResponsibiltyFreedom and ValueFreedom EvolvesFreedom RegainedFreedom vs. InterventionFreedom, Fame, Lying, and BetrayalFreudFreud and the Question of PseudoscienceFreud As PhilosopherFreud's AnswerFreud, the Reluctant PhilosopherFriedrich NietzscheFrom Chance to ChoiceFrom Clinic to ClassroomFrom Complexity to LifeFrom Enlightenment to ReceptivityFrom Knowledge to Wisdom: A Revolution for Science and the HumanitiesFrom Morality to Mental HealthFrom Passions to EmotionsFrom Philosophy to PsychotherapyFrom Valuing to ValueFrontiers of ConsciousnessFrontiers of JusticeFurnishing the MindGalileo in PittsburghGenderGender and Mental HealthGender in the MirrorGender TroubleGenesGenes, Women, EqualityGenetic Nature/CultureGenetic ProspectsGenetic ProspectsGenetic SecretsGenocide's AftermathGenomes and What to Make of ThemGerman Idealism and the JewGerman PhilosophyGetting HookedGilles DeleuzeGlobal PhilosophyGluttonyGod and Phenomenal ConsciousnessGoffman's LegacyGoing Amiss in Experimental ResearchGoodness & AdviceGrassroots SpiritualityGrave MattersGrave MattersGreedGreek Models of Mind and SelfGut ReactionsHabilitation, Health, and AgencyHabits of MindHallucinationHandbook of BioethicsHandbook of EmotionsHappinessHappinessHappinessHappinessHappiness and EducationHappiness and the Good LifeHappiness Is OverratedHappiness, Death, and the Remainder of LifeHard LuckHarmful ThoughtsHaving the World in ViewHealing PsychiatryHealing the Soul in the Age of the BrainHealth, Illness and DiseaseHealth, Science, and Ordinary LanguageHegelHeidegger and a Metaphysics of FeelingHeidegger, Metaphysics and the Univocity of BeingHermann von Helmholtz's MechanismHermeneutics As PoliticsHeterophobiaHeterosyncraciesHeuristics and BiasesHeuristics and the LawHidden ResourcesHidden SelvesHiding from HumanityHigh Art LiteHistorical OntologyHistory of Psychiatry and Medical PsychologyHistory, Historicity And ScienceHobbesHomosexualitiesHope and Dread in PsychoanalysisHot ThoughtHow Can I Be Trusted?How Can the Human Mind Occur in the Physical Universe?How Children Learn the Meanings of WordsHow Could Conscious Experiences Affect Brains?How Do We Know Who We Are?How Emotions WorkHow Emotions WorkHow History Made the MindHow Images ThinkHow is Nature Possible?How Propaganda WorksHow Science WorksHow Scientific Practices MatterHow Scientists Explain DiseaseHow The Body Shapes The MindHow the Body Shapes the Way We ThinkHow the Mind Explains BehaviorHow the Mind Uses the BrainHow to Be a StoicHow to Make Opportunity EqualHow to Solve the Mind-Body Problemhow to stop timeHow to Think More About SexHow We HopeHow We ReasonHuman CloningHuman Development, Language and the Future of MankindHuman EnhancementHuman Evolution, Reproduction, and MoralityHuman GoodnessHuman Identity and BioethicsHuman NatureHuman NatureHuman Nature and the Limits of ScienceHuman-Built WorldHumanismHumanism, What's That?HumanityHumans, Animals, MachinesHumeHumeHume on Motivation and VirtueHume's True ScepticismHusserlHystoriesI of the VortexI Was WrongIdeas that MatterIdentifying the MindIdentity and Agency in Cultural WorldsIgnorance and ImaginationIllnessImagination and Its PathologiesImagination and the Meaningful BrainImagining NumbersImmortal RemainsImproving Nature?In Defense of an Evolutionary Concept of HealthIn Defense of SentimentalityIn Love With LifeIn Praise of Athletic BeautyIn Praise of Natural PhilosophyIn Praise of the WhipIn Pursuit of HappinessIn Search of HappinessIn the Name of GodIn the Name of IdentityIn the Space of ReasonsIn the SwarmIn Two MindsInclusive EthicsIncompatibilism's AllureIndividual Differences in Conscious ExperienceInfinity and PerspectiveInformation ArtsInformed Consent in Medical ResearchIngmar Bergman, Cinematic PhilosopherInhuman ThoughtsInner PresenceInsanityIntegrating Psychotherapy and PharmacotherapyIntegrity and the Fragile SelfIntelligent VirtueIntentionIntentionality, Deliberation and AutonomyIntentions and IntentionalityIntentions and IntentionalityInterpreting MindsInterpreting NietzscheIntroducing Greek PhilosophyIntrospection and ConsciousnessIntrospection VindicatedIntuition, Imagination, and Philosophical MethodologyIntuitionismInvestigating the Psychological WorldIrrationalityIrrationalityIs Academic Feminism Dead?Is It Me or My Meds?Is Long-Term Therapy Unethical?Is Oedipus Online?Is Science Neurotic?Is Science Value Free?Is the Visual World a Grand Illusion?Is There a Duty to Die?Issues in Philosophical CounselingJacques LacanJacques RancièreJacques RanciereJean-Paul SartreJohn McDowellJohn SearleJohn Searle's Ideas About Social RealityJohn Stuart MillJohn Stuart Mill and the Writing of CharacterJoint AttentionJokesJonathan EdwardsJudging and UnderstandingJustice for ChildrenJustice in RobesJustice, Luck, and KnowledgeKantKant and MiltonKant and the Fate of AutonomyKant and the Limits of AutonomyKant and the Role of Pleasure in Moral ActionKant on Freedom, Law, and HappinessKant on Moral AutonomyKant's Anatomy of EvilKant's Anatomy of the Intelligent MindKant's Theory of VirtueKarl JaspersKarl PopperKey Concepts in PhilosophyKierkegaardKierkegaard as PhenomenologistKierkegaard's Concept of DespairKierkegaard's MuseKinds of MindsKinds, Things, and StuffKnowing, Knowledge and BeliefsKnowledge MonopoliesKnowledge, Belief, and CharacterKnowledge, Possibility, and ConsciousnessLacanLack of CharacterLack of CharacterLanguageLanguage in ContextLanguage, Consciousness, CultureLanguage, Culture, and MindLanguage, Vision, and MusicLaw and the BrainLaw, Liberty, and PsychiatryLaws, Mind, and Free WillLeaving YouLectures on the History of Political PhilosophyLevelling the Playing FieldLiberal Education in a Knowledge SocietyLiberatory PsychiatryLife and ActionLife at the Texas State Lunatic Asylum, 1857-1997Life Is Not a Game of PerfectLife of the MindLife's FormLife, Death, & MeaningLife, Death, and Meaning: Key Philosophical Readings on the Big Questions Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of UtilityLife, Sex, and IdeasLight in the Dark RoomLike a Splinter in Your MindLiving and Dying WellLiving NarrativeLiving Outside Mental IllnessLiving with DarwinLiving With One’s PastLockeLocke LockeLogic and the Art of Memory Loneliness in Philosophy, Psychology, and LiteratureLooking for SpinozaLooking for The StrangerLost SoulsLOT 2LoveLoveLove's ConfusionsLove's VisionLove, Friendship, and the SelfLove, Sex & TragedyLuckyLudwig WittgensteinLustLyingMachine ConsciousnessMad for FoucaultMad TravelersMade with WordsMadness And Death In PhilosophyMadness and DemocracyMadness at HomeMadness Is CivilizationMaking Natural KnowledgeMaking Sense of EvolutionMaking Sense of Freedom and ResponsibilityMaking the DSM-5Making the Social WorldMaking TruthMale Female EmailMan, Beast, and ZombieMandated Reporting of Suspected Child AbuseManiaManic Depression and CreativityMapping the Edges and the In-betweenMapping the Future of BiologyMarcus AureliusMaster PassionsMatters of the MindMe++Meaning and Moral OrderMeaning and Value in a Secular AgeMeaning in LifeMeaning in Life and Why It MattersMeaning, Basic Self-Knowledge, and MindMeanings of ArtMeasuring HappinessMeasuring PsychopathologyMedia MadnessMedical Enhancement and PosthumanityMedical NihilismMedicine and Philosophy in Classical AntiquityMedicine of the PersonMedicine, Mental Health, Religion, Science and Well-BeingMelancholy And the Care of the SoulMelancholy and the Otherness of GodMementoMemory and NarrativeMental ActionsMental CausationMental Causation and OntologyMental HealthMental Health At The CrossroadsMental Health Policy in BritainMerit, Meaning, and Human BondageMerleau-PontyMerleau-Ponty and the Possibilities of PhilosophyMetacognition and Theory of MindMetacreationMetaethical SubjectivismMetaethicsMetal and FleshMetaphors of MemoryMetapoliticsMethods in MindMichel FoucaultMidlifeMill's UtilitarianismMindMindMindMind and ConsciousnessMind and CosmosMind and MechanismMind GamesMind in a Physical WorldMind in Everyday Life and Cognitive ScienceMind in LifeMind TimeMind's LandscapeMind, Brain and the Elusive SoulMind, Brain, and Free WillMind, Reason and ImaginationMinding MindsMindreadersMindreading AnimalsMinds and PersonsMinds, Brains, and LawMinds, Ethics, and ConditionalsMindshapingMindsightMindworldsMirror, MirrorMixed FeelingsMockingbird YearsModels of the SelfModern Social ImaginariesModern Theories of JusticeModernity and SubjectivityModernity and TechnologyMoody Minds DistemperedMoral BrainsMoral DimensionsMoral FailureMoral ImaginationMoral LiteracyMoral MachinesMoral ParticularismMoral PsychologyMoral Psychology and Human AgencyMoral Psychology, Volume 1Moral Psychology, Volume 2Moral Psychology, Volume 3Moral Psychology: Volume IVMoral RepairMoral Responsibility and Alternative PossibilitiesMoral TribesMoral Value and Human DiversityMorality and Self-InterestMorality in a Natural WorldMorality, Moral Luck and ResponsibilityMotherhoodMotive and RightnessMoving Beyond Prozac, DSM, and the New PsychiatryMultiple Analogies in Science and PhilosophyMultiple Identities & False MemoriesMusic, Madness, and the Unworking of LanguageMy Brain Made Me Do ItMy Double UnveiledMy WayNarrativeNarrative and IdentityNarrative MedicineNarrative PsychiatryNarrative Theory and the Cognitive SciencesNatural Ethical FactsNatural Kinds and Conceptual ChangeNatural MindsNatural-Born CybogsNaturalism and the First-Person PerspectiveNaturalism and the Human ConditionNaturalism in the Philosophy of HealthNaturalism in the Philosophy of HealthNaturalized BioethicsNaturalizing the MindNatureNature and NarrativeNear Death ExperienceNeither Bad nor MadNeither Victim nor SurvivorNeuro-Philosophy and the Healthy MindNeuroethicsNeuroethicsNeurological Foundations of Cognitive Neuroscience Neurophilosophy at WorkNeurophilosophy of Free WillNeuropoliticsNeuropsychoanalysis in PracticeNeuroscience and PhilosophyNew Essays on the Explanation of ActionNew Philosophy for a New MediaNew Versions of VictimsNew Waves in Philosophy of ActionNietzscheNietzsche and Buddhist PhilosophyNietzsche on Ethics and PoliticsNietzsche's TherapyNietzsche, Culture and EducationNietzsche: The Man and His PhilosophyNihil UnboundNoir AnxietyNormative EthicsNormativityNorms of NatureNotebooks 1951-1959Notes Toward a Performative Theory of AssemblyNothing So AbsurdOblivionOn AnxietyOn ApologyOn Being AuthenticOn Being AuthenticOn BeliefOn BetrayalOn BullshitOn DelusionOn DesireOn EmotionsOn HashishOn Human NatureOn Human RightsOn Loving Our EnemiesOn Nature and LanguageOn PersonalityOn ReflectionOn Romantic LoveOn the EmotionsOn the Freud WatchOn the Government of the LivingOn the Human ConditionOn the InternetOn the Meaning of LifeOn the Philosophy of LawOn the Pragmatics of CommunicationOn the Punitive SocietyOn TruthOn Virtue EthicsOn What MattersOn What We Owe to Each OtherOne Hundred DaysOnflowOnly a Promise of HappinessOntology of ConsciousnessOpen MindedOpen Your EyesOrgans without BodiesOther MindsOur Last Great IllusionOur Own MindsOur Posthuman FutureOur StoriesOut of Its MindOut of Our HeadsOxford Guide to the MindOxford Handbook of Psychiatric EthicsOxford Studies in Normative EthicsOxford Studies in Normative Ethics, Volume 7Oxford Textbook of Philosophy of PsychiatryPanic DisorderPanpsychismPanpsychism in the WestPartialityPassionate EnginesPassionate EnginesPathologies of BeliefPathologies of ReasonPatient Autonomy and the Ethics of ResponsibilityPC, M.D.Perceiving the WorldPerception & CognitionPerception and Basic BeliefsPerception, Hallucination, and IllusionPerceptual ExperiencePerfecting VirtuePerplexities of ConsciousnessPersistencePersonal AutonomyPersonal Autonomy in SocietyPersonal IdentityPersonal Identity and EthicsPersonal Identity and Fractured SelvesPersonhood and Health CarePersonsPersons and BodiesPersons, Humanity, and the Definition of DeathPersons, Souls and DeathPerspectives on ImitationPerspectives on PragmatismPessimismPhenomenal Concepts and Phenomenal KnowledgePhenomenal ConsciousnessPhenomenal IntentionalityPhenomenology and ExistentialismPhenomenology and Philosophy of MindPhenomenology of IllnessPhilosophersPhilosophers on MusicPhilosophers without GodsPhilosophical CounselingPhilosophical Counselling and the UnconsciousPhilosophical DevicesPhilosophical Foundations of NeurosciencePhilosophical History and the Problem of ConsciousnessPhilosophical Issues in PharmaceuticsPhilosophical Issues in PsychiatryPhilosophical Issues in PsychiatryPhilosophical Issues in Psychiatry IIPhilosophical MethodologyPhilosophical MidwiferyPhilosophical Myths of the FallPhilosophical Perspectives on DepictionPhilosophical Perspectives on Technology and PsychiatryPhilosophical PracticePhilosophical Reflections on DisabilityPhilosophizing About Sex Philosophizing the EverydayPhilosophy and HappinessPhilosophy and LivingPhilosophy and PsychiatryPhilosophy and PsychotherapyPhilosophy and Science FictionPhilosophy and the EmotionsPhilosophy and the EmotionsPhilosophy and the Interpretation of Pop CulturePhilosophy and the Moving ImagePhilosophy and the NeurosciencesPhilosophy and This Actual WorldPhilosophy As FictionPhilosophy BitesPhilosophy Bites BackPhilosophy for Counselling and PsychotherapyPhilosophy for LifePhilosophy in a New CenturyPhilosophy in an Age of SciencePhilosophy in Children's LiteraturePhilosophy in the Roman EmpirePhilosophy of ActionPhilosophy of ActionPhilosophy of BiologyPhilosophy of BiologyPhilosophy of BiologyPhilosophy of BiologyPhilosophy of BodyPhilosophy of Film and Motion PicturesPhilosophy of LovePhilosophy of Love, Sex, and MarriagePhilosophy of MedicinePhilosophy of MindPhilosophy of Mind and CognitionPhilosophy of Personal Identity and Multiple PersonalityPhilosophy of PsychologyPhilosophy of Public HealthPhilosophy of SciencePhilosophy of SciencePhilosophy of Technology: The Technological ConditionPhilosophy of the Social SciencesPhilosophy on TapPhilosophy PracticePhilosophy the Day after TomorrowPhilosophy's Role in Counseling and PsychotherapyPhilosophy, Neuroscience and ConsciousnessPhilosophy, Politics, DemocracyPhotography and PhilosophyPhysical RealizationPhysicalism and Its DiscontentsPhysicalism and Mental CausationPhysicalism, or Something Near EnoughPhysician-Assisted DyingPillar of SaltPin-up GrrrlsPlant MindsPlatoPlatoPlato, Not Prozac!Platonic Ethics, Old and NewPluralistic CasuistryPolarities of ExperiencesPolitical EmotionsPopper, Objectivity and the Growth of KnowledgePornPorn StudiesPornography, Sex, and FeminismPortrait of the Psychiatrist as a Young ManPositive NihilismPostcolonial DisordersPostpsychiatryPosttraumatic Stress DisorderPower and the SelfPower SplitPractical Autonomy and BioethicsPractical ConflictsPractical Identity and Narrative AgencyPractical PhilosophyPractical RulesPractical Tortoise RaisingPractically ProfoundPracticing Feminist Ethics in PsychologyPragmatic BioethicsPragmatismPragmatism, Old And NewPraise and BlamePredicative MindsPreferences and Well-BeingPrescriptions for the MindPresocraticsPrimary and Secondary QualitiesPrimates and PhilosophersPrimitive ColorsPrivacyPrivileged AccessProblems in MindProblems of RationalityProzac As a Way of LifeProzac BacklashProzac on the CouchPsyche and SomaPsychiatric Aspects of Justification, Excuse and Mitigation in Anglo-American Criminal Law Psychiatric Cultures ComparedPsychiatric Diagnosis and ClassificationPsychiatric EthicsPsychiatric HegemonyPsychiatric PowerPsychiatric SlaveryPsychiatry and Philosophy of SciencePsychiatry and ReligionPsychiatry as a Human SciencePsychiatry as Cognitive NeurosciencePsychiatry in SocietyPsychiatry in the New MilleniumPsychiatry in the Scientific ImagePsychiatry, Psychoanalysis, And The New Biology Of MindPsycho-Physical Dualism TodayPsychoanalysis and Narrative MedicinePsychoanalysis and the Philosophy of SciencePsychological Concepts and Biological PsychiatryPsychology and PhilosophyPsychology and the Question of AgencyPsychology's Interpretive TurnPsychology, Psychotherapy, Psychoanalysis, and the Politics of Human RelationshipsPsychotherapy and ConfidentialityPsychotherapy As PraxisPublic PhilosophyPunishmentPure ImmanencePurple HazePursuing MeaningQuality of Life and Human DifferenceQueer PhilosophyQuestions for FreudQuestions for FreudQuine and Davidson on Language, Thought and RealityRaceRace in Contemporary MedicineRadiant CoolRadical AlterityRadical ExternalismRadical HopeRational and Social AgencyRational CausationRational Choice in an Uncertain WorldRationality + Consciousness = Free WillRationality and FreedomRationality and the Reflective MindRationality in ActionRawls, Dewey, and ConstructivismRe-creating MedicineRe-EmergenceRe-Engineering Philosophy for Limited BeingsReading AutobiographyReading Bernard WilliamsReading SartreReadings in the Philosophy of TechnologyReal MaterialismReal Natures and Familiar ObjectsReal ScienceRealism in ActionReason & EmancipationReason in ActionReason in PhilosophyReason's 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Agency, Freedom and Moral Responsibility consists of sixteen independent essays -- each written by different authors, and an introduction by the editors. The common ground for the essays is that the authors (with a few exceptions) participated in at least one of the two symposia (2008) "Belief, Responsibility, and Action" and (2012) "Alternatives, Belief and Action" that took place at the Faculty of Philosophy at the University of Valencia. Yet, as the editors emphasizes, this is not a proceedings volume. All essays are written exclusively to appear in this volume. Most contributions will likely prove valuable for anyone researching matters in the intersection of agency, freedom, moral luck and responsibility. That said, it is less suitable as an introduction to the field since it lacks thorough introductions to many of the debates, problems, and positions under discussion.
The Metaphysics of Agency
The first part of the volume consists of four essays, the first two concerns intentional agency broadly, while the other two focuses on free agency more specifically. "The argument from slips" is the opening chapter. Here Santiago Amaya makes a comparison between perceptual illusions and action illusions. The former should be well known, but the latter are rarely discussed. According to Amaya slips are action illusions: "situations in which well informed, willful, and competent agents fall short of acting as intended". The slip is a common mistake: you put the paper in your mouth and throw away the chocolate; you try to open your front door with the car key etc. Before you notice the mistake, it feels as if things go according to your plan. The kernel of Amaya's argument is that just as the classic argument from illusion is an attack on 'naïve realism', the argument from slips can serve as an attack on what he dubs 'naïve rationalism'. A position inspired by Ludwig Wittgenstein and G.E.M. Anscombe. This essay offers a refreshing new line of thought to philosophy of action. The argument from illusion has had an enormous influence on the philosophy of perception. The argument from slips could be a game changer, potentially provoking as much debate in philosophy of action as the argument from illusion has in the domain of perception.
In "A Gradualist Metaphysics of Agency" Jesús H. Aguilar and Andrei Buckareff argue against the view that being an agent is an all-or-nothing matter. Instead, they assert, agency comes in degrees. All agents have in common that they are disposed to react in certain ways under certain circumstances. In the minimal sense, the authors argue, "a state exhibits some degree of intentionality to the extent that it is: (1) about, for, or directed at something; (2) directed at things that are present or may not be present; and (3) may exhibit indeterminacy with respect to what it refers" (p. 33). They denote this minimal sense of intentionality 'quasi-intentionality', and argue that chemicals may exhibit such intentionality since they are disposed to react when they come into contact with different properties of other objects. Aguilar and Buckareff make it clear they regard the requirements of quasi-intentionality as necessary but not sufficient for full agency. However, they leave the reader with the question of why we should accept a conception of intentionality that entails that chemicals have intentions. It seems problematic to abandon the idea that intentions involve at least some minimal mental activity on behalf of the agent. Instead, it would suffice to say that a state exhibits some degree of disposition if it fulfils all three requirements. Further, the authors argue that complexity of thought and richness of mental life comes in degrees, something which plausibly would entail that also agency comes in degrees -- at least if you think that thought or mental processes are a constitutive element of agency. On this view, "rational agents are just the most complex agents that exists along a continuum with other types of agents" (p. 42).
The title of Michael McKenna and Chad Van Shoelandt's essay "Crossing a Mesh Theory with a Reasons-Responsive Theory: Unholy Spawn of an Impending Apocalypse or Love Child of a New Dawn?" pinpoints the contents of the essay as well as it describes the authors own conviction. The authors argue that reasons-responsive theories can tell us something about the outer nature of free agency. On such accounts, an agent acts freely when the action originates in the deliberative mechanism of the agent; a mechanism that is sensitive to an appropriate pattern of reasons (see also Fischer and Ravizza, 1998). Mesh theories on the other hand can tell us something about the free agent's inner nature. The idea is that an agent acts freely when there is a well-functioning harmony between the agent's motivational states for that action, and some other relevant attitudes of her (see for instance the hierarchical and desire-based theory proposed by Frankfurt (1971). The authors are not prepared to commit to this hybrid view. Yet they find it persuasive since mesh theories can account for the problems arising from reasons-responsive theories, and vice versa. Even though the authors claim that you could insert your favourite mesh-theory as well as your favourite reasons-responsive theory, it seems that there is more work to be done in fitting these theories together. Could for instance Fischer and Ravizza's requirement that the mechanism must be responsive to some moral reasons be combined with Frankfurt's desire-based account? (Consider remarks made by Gary Watson, 1975).
In "Classical Compatibilism and Temporal Ontology", Pablo Rychter argues that the following three views are compatible:
Eternalism: Objects both from the past and the future exist just as much as present objects.
Dual ability: Some agents are able to sometimes do other then they actually do.
Determinism: The laws of nature completely determine, together with past states of affairs, all future states of affairs. (p. 66)
He starts out by arguing that an eternalist can ascribe to 'dual ability' since the future part of the eternal universe could be different, given that other free choices had been made. To use Rychter's example: "your having fish [for lunch] tomorrow is 'already there', waiting in line to become present. But […] it is already there because your free decision to have fish is also already there, just one place before in line" (p.69). A more pressing problem for compatibilists comes into picture if we add that the universe is also determinate. It seems then that the universe cannot contain another set of choices. Hence, it seems that the three views are incompatible. However, Rychter argues, this is only true if we also think that the laws of nature that determine the universe can be found in their entirety in the past. Instead, he appeals to a Humean conception of the laws of nature; the view that they are determined by "local matters of particular facts, just one little thing and then another" (p. 74). On this understanding, "we should see the laws as a result that follows from particular events, among which no necessary connection holds" (p. 74). The claim is not that we cannot know about the laws of nature other than from studying particular events, it is deeper than that. It is the claim that there are no underlying laws of nature that could explain why particular events turn out the way they do. There are no such necessary connections. We could question whether Hume would approve of this alleged Humean conception of the laws of nature. On a standard interpretation of Hume, his legendary skepticism was epistemological. We can never prove nor perceive the necessity of the laws of nature, only the regularities that they entail. Yet, Rychter needs more than epistemological scepticism to prove his point. Besides this exegetic consideration, there seems to be other questions that demand clarification. For instance, is the idea that agents can influence the laws of nature (particular to the situation) by exercising their free will? This seems necessary if agents are able -- as a result of exercising their will -- to sometimes do other then they actually do. Alternatively, is the idea that the laws of nature particular to a certain situation vary randomly? In that case 'dual ability' would be interpreted as saying that it is possible that agents sometimes do other then they actually do. Neither of the alternatives seems attractive. The first one is metaphysically demanding, and the second one seems to invite indeterminism, something which is problematic since we also assume that determinism is true. Finally, if the laws of nature are particular to the situation, why do they show irregularity in cases of agency, but regularity in cases of nonagency? Think of a case where a billiard ball strikes another. Hume, who stands at the side, notices that the other ball moves in another direction than he predicted -- a way that must stem from a different set of laws of nature than he is used to. Rychter's point of view on the laws of nature entails that such events are possible. Yet, such an unpredicted event would surely surprise Hume (as well as most of us). Arguably, such events are rare. However, when it comes to free agency, Rycher's view entails that each time an agent could do otherwise, the laws of nature shows irregularity. How can this relation between free agency and the laws of nature be explained?
Responsibility and Luck
The second part of the book consists of four different essays. The first two essays defend libertarianism against the Luck Objection. More specifically, they defend the libertarian idea that agents sometimes exercise free will and that free will is logically incompatible with a deterministic universe. The luck objection states that if indeterminism is true, then undetermined decisions and actions are bound to be arbitrary or random rather then rational. Hence, which decision an agent makes is a matter of luck rather than free choice. In the first essay "Reasons and Freedom", Carlos Moya argues that causally undetermined choices can be rational, especially focusing on the claim that deliberation is a matter of weighting reasons, not just weighing them. Further, he argues that rational choice does not require that the reasons on which choice is based are better than any alternative. It is often enough for rational choice to choose for good reason. The reasons need not be better than any alternative. In the second essay, "On the Luck Objection to Libertarianism", David Widerker and Ira M. Schnall argue that proponents of the luck objection fail to sufficiently appreciate the very notion of leeway-libertarian free act. In asserting this, they especially focus on three different versions of the argument proposed by Alfred Mele, Neil Levy and Van Inwagen respectively. In particular, Widerker and Schnall argue that an action can be undetermined and still under the agent's control. It is not necessarily a matter of luck that the causal gap left by indetermination becomes settled. Instead it could be that the agent steps in and exercise control over what she does. This argument could be seen as a more general variation of the argument Moya proposed in the previous essay.
In "Moral Luck and True Desert", Sergi Rosell defends the claim that moral luck is an undeniable everyday phenomenon against what he calls 'the Global Case against Moral Luck'. This case starts out from the control principle, that an "agent A is morally responsible for x only if, and to the extent that, she has control over x" (p. 117). Add to this the corollary "[p]eople ought not to be morally judged differently if the only differences between them are due to factors beyond their control" (p. 117). Considering different cases where the intervention of luck is progressively more distant from the action and its moral outcome, Rosell argues that the proponent of the Global Case against Moral Luck ultimately reduces the basis for desert either to the agent's given constitution, or to a bare self with no properties at all. Further, Rosell argues that the former option involves abandoning the Control Principle since you cannot be in control over your given constitution. On the other hand, the latter option empties the notion of true desert since there is nothing left to base the true desert on (Michael J. Zimmerman, 2011, does not only bite this bullet, but uses it as one major argument against the possibility of justification of punishment). Rosell concludes the paper by claiming "the idea that what ultimately matters is only what exclusively depends on the agent, becomes a meaningless view, since it happens that, in the end, nothing exclusively depends on the agent" (p. 131). He doesn't draw this argument to its ultimate conclusion, but taken seriously, his argument does not only defend the phenomenon of moral luck. It also -- if true -- refutes the control principle of moral responsibility.
Carolina Sartorio explore some aspects of moral luck in "A New Form of Moral Luck?". She focuses on cases where our moral responsibility appears to depend on whether other responsible agents contribute to the unfolding of events. She discusses a rich variety of cases. In the first one, the goddess Diana induces a specific genetic mutation to the unborn child Ernie, giving him certain innate genetic dispositions. "Diana knows that, partly due to those dispositions and the deterministic laws, 30 years later Ernie will murder his uncle to inherit a fortune. Still, when Ernie murders his uncle 30 years later, he satisfies all the standard compatibilist conditions for freedom" (p. 135). In a similar case it is not Diana, but a flash of lightning, that causes the genetic mutation. Sartorio argues that the intuitions in these two cases are very different. In the first case, Ernie doesn't seem blameworthy for his action, while in the second case he does. Yet, the only difference is that in the first case, an intentional agent plays the role that a natural force plays in the second. Another pair of cases where degree of responsibility seems to depend on whether other agents contributes to the unfolding of events is:
CASE 1: I want an explosion E to occur. I have good reason to believe that pressing button A will trigger an explosive that will result in E. I press A, and E occurs (p. 140).
CASE 2: Three buttons (A, B and C) need to be pressed for E to occur. Two other agents independently press B and C while I press A (each of us knew about the buttons, had god reason to believe that the other buttons would be pressed, and acted with the intention that E occurs). E occurs (p. 140).
We can assume that the explosion has a morally bad outcome. Here, Sartorio argues, there are only two sensible options, either am I as responsible for E in case 2 as in case 1, or I am less culpable, for instance only a third as culpable as in the first case. However, this is not necessarily a case of moral luck as Sartorio thinks. You could agree that A has different degree of responsibility in case 2 than in case 1 without accepting that this has to do with moral luck. You could argue that A's different degree of responsibility is due to the different intentions involved in the different cases. In case 1, A has an individual intention to cause E. Conversely, in case 2 A, B and C has a joint intention to cause E. Given the limited space of this review we cannot go into further detail, but it seems that the best explanation of the differing degrees of responsibility in some of the cases that Sartorio discusses is not that they are instances of a new form of moral luck.
Responsibility and Blame
According to the Principle of Alternate Possibilities a person is morally responsible for what she has done only if she could have done otherwise. The principle has been subject to much discussion since Harry G. Frankfurt claimed it was false (1969). Helen Steward's "Helping it" is a contribution to this debate. Her focus is not merely Frankfurt's account, but how we can best formulate the control intuition we have in cases of blameworthiness. More specifically, she claims that everyday locutions like "can't help it" are a good way to formulate it. Her rationale for this is that these locutions offer a significant way in which the control intuition can be expressed. Consider a Frankfurt-type case. In this sort of case a crucial role is played by an agent with super powers who is able to intervene in other agents' neurophysiology. Suppose a person, Jones, deliberates about whether to shoot the President. After some reflection he chooses to do it. Had he not made this decision of his own free will, the agent with super powers would have intervened and brought it about that he nonetheless killed the President. Frankfurt argues that Jones is clearly blameworthy in the case in which the intervener does nothing, but given his presence Jones could not have done other than shoot the president. Contra the Principle of Alternate Possibilities, we have a blameworthy agent who could not have acted differently. Steward's question is whether Jones, additionally, couldn't help shooting the President. Certainly, he couldn't have avoided doing it, but according to Steward there is an alternative reading. True, Jones couldn't help shooting the President as such, but it isn't the case that Jones couldn't help it: "It would be mighty strange, I think, to say of Jones, who in fact of course shoots the President calmly, coolly and collectedly of his own free will -- 'Oh, yes -- Jones shot the President. But he couldn't help it. There was this counterfactual intervener guy around, you know'" (p. 155). Steward argues for her case through more examples and details than we can go into here. She has provided a novel and exciting contribution to the ongoing debate about control in cases of blameworthiness.
In a country like Colombia that is overwhelmed by violence and war, there are people who cannot forgive despite the fact that they are deeply convinced that they ought to do so. In "Ought without Ability", Carlos Patarroyo finds it wrong to conclude that these people just are mistaken, or that they are thinking of an ideal, prima facie and personally detached meaning of 'ought'. He defends the possibility of there being a morally relevant meaning of 'ought' that does not imply 'can'; a meaning that is not prima facie, ideal, non-binding or situational. In the spirit of R.M. Hare and Erasmus of Rotterdam, the discussion proceeds with understanding 'ought' as an imperative. Patarroyo makes use of Luther's argument that a doctor could issue an order to a patient that is perfectly intelligible even though the doctor knows that the patient cannot comply. Hence, he concludes that commands that are agent-binding but cannot be obeyed make sense.
Derk Pereboom's "Omissions and Different Senses of Responsibility" seems to have two purposes. First, to show that you can be as morally responsible for the outcome of decisions not to act and for failures to decide as you are for decisions to act. Second, to argue that there are senses of responsibility that do not involve basic desert. Yet, these two purposes are interrelated. Pereboom argues that the senses of responsibility that do not involve basic desert predominate in cases of decisions not to act and failures to decide to act. Pereboom start out criticizing Carolina Sartorio's (2005; manuscript "The Puzzle(s) of Frankfurt Style Omission Cases") claim that there is an asymmetry between responsibility for the outcomes of actions and responsibility for the outcomes of omissions. Sartorio considers a case where Frank sees a child swimming in a pool. Frank wants the child to die, so he jumps in and pushes the child's head under water until he drowns. In a similar case, "Frank notices that the child is starting to drown. Since he wants the child to drown, he decides not to jump in" (p. 180). Sartorio argues that in the latter case, Frank is responsible for his decision but not for the outcome, hence the asymmetry. Pereboom considers cases where the agent (Frank's counterpart) fails to make a decision. Plausibly, this won't happen in cases where a child is drowning (because of the gravity of the situation), but it could happen in situations where harm is less severe. Such an example could be:
Stranded Motorist: "Frank is driving along a lightly-travelled highway thinking about Frankfurt cases. He notices a motorist struggling to replace a flat tire. After momentarily being distracted by the thought that the motorist would benefit from help, Frank resumes thinking about Frankfurt cases without ever deciding not to stop to help."
Since absences can be causes on Sartorio's (2015, 2016) view, this would be a case where Frank by absence of decision caused the continued struggle of the motorist, and therefore he is responsible for this outcome. It would however be odd, Pereboom argues, if the responsibility-assessment were different in cases of failures to decide and cases of deciding not to act. He therefore concludes that we can be morally responsible for the outcome of decisions not to act. Yet, instead of drawing this conclusion, you could give up the premise that absences are causes. As Sartorio herself notices "absence causation is notoriously 'explosive'" (Sartorio, 2016, p. 33). For instance, "the absence of an alien attack on Earth (one that would have wiped us all out in seconds) is one of the causes of Frank's making his choice" (Sartorio, 2016, p. 34). To further illustrate this, we can consider another example Pereboom discusses: "Matt, a first-time parent living in an especially safe environment, whose first encounter with danger to his child is one in which she is seriously injured" (p. 189). It could be a case where Matt leaves his child in the car on a hot day, gets preoccupied, and returns to the car to find his child suffering severe hyperthermia. Pereboom argues that it is appropriate to blame Matt as well as Frank (in the stranded motorist example) since it is fitting to believe that their lack of vigilance was bad, and fitting to desire that they would not have failed in their respective ways. Yet, if you abandon the idea that absences are causes, you will see an important difference between the two cases (besides the gravity of harm). There is then no relevant sense in which Frank has caused the continued struggle of the stranded motorist, but there is a relevant sense in which Matt has caused his child's suffering. After all, Matt put his child in the car and left her there. It seems perfectly conceivable to argue that we should put the suffering of the child -- the harmful outcome -- on Matt's moral ledger, while we do not put the suffering of the stranded motorist on Frank's moral ledger. In the latter case, we could still blame Frank for the failure to decide on the grounds mentioned earlier, but not for the outcome in itself.
The next two essays concern Michael McKenna's recent book Conversation and Responsibility (2012). In his book, McKenna argues that blame is more easily justified than the moral responsibility skeptic might think. One important argument for this claim is that justification of blame doesn't necessarily entail the justification of punishment, which is harder to justify. In "Moral Responsibility Skepticism: Meeting McKenna's Challenge", Neil Levy argues that blame in fact do harm us seriously. Therefore the difference in moral justification between blame and punishment is lesser then McKenna thinks. Another of McKenna's (2012) arguments rests on the idea that blame is non-instrumentally good. A Contractualist-flavoured consideration lingers at the background; only someone who cares about moral relations can be exposed to harms distinctive of blame. For instance, if you do not care about interpersonal relationships, having them impaired won't harm you. Against this, Levy argues that you can be harmed by being blamed even though you do not care about the noninstrumenal value of relationships since these relationships can be instrumentally valuable. Further, Levy argues that the value of being a member of a moral community cannot entail that blame itself has noninstrumental value. Rather, the convention of blaming comes at a moral cost. To the extent blaming is justified, it is so all things considered. In the next essay "In Defense of a Challenge to Moral Responsibility Skepticism: A Reply to Levy" McKenna distinguishes between the harm that blaming entails -- which is not good -- and the value of concern for others and morality -- which is good. He argues that when a blameworthy person is harmed because of blame (and not only since the relationships are instrumentally valuable) this involves an expression of her concerns for others and morality. Yet, it seems to us that this argument does not amount to saying that blaming is noninstrumentally good. What is instrumentally good is rather the agent's concern for others and morality. Moreover, McKenna argues that skepticism about blaming must involve more than saying that blaming comes at a moral cost. For instance, most non-skeptics would agree that morally justified blame comes at a cost. It is enough for a non-skeptic to regard blame as justified all things considered.
Responsibility and Relationships
According to what Constantine Sandis in his "Motivated by the Gods: Compartmentalized Agency and Responsibility" dubs the Homeric Principle one is, "in acting against one's intention or desire […] momentarily possessed by something alien to oneself and is therefore a victim rather than a culprit" (p. 211). Whereas it is common in Greek tragedy that deity is blameworthy for the fate of the protagonists, it is not common in contemporary everyday life to hold Gods responsible for one's actions. It is, however, a commonplace that we sometimes fail to be ourselves, for example in times of sleep deprivation or stress. When this happens we act contrary to our intentions and desires. We do not approve of those actions and consider the parts of us that led up to them to misrepresent our true self such that it makes sense to claim less responsibility for them. Sandis questions this view, points to its weaknesses and suggests that even though we might bear less responsibility in these cases, it is simply wrong to think that they have absolutely nothing to do with us (p. 223). Sandis' text should be of interest to a larger audience in addition to philosophers. Theologians are likely to take an interest in the discussion whether deity can be blamed for human actions. And the use in the text of vivid examples from film and literature is likely to intrigue people from the field of comparative literature as well. This text has many facets and it is a joy to read it.
In her "Friendship, Freedom, and Special Obligations" Dana Kay Nelkin brings together the literature on friendship and moral theory, on the one hand, and the literature on friendship and freedom, on the other. She applies the friendship perspective to the free agency debate by arguing that friendship is partly defined by the special obligations friends have to one another. The moral theory part of the essay is a discussion about how the consequentialist can deal with the idea that friends have special obligations towards each other. Whereas the freedom part of it relates the Ought implies Can principle to the friendship debate. Nelkin suggests that if we accept this principle, we should also accept that friendship obligations require free agency. Her approach serves as an alternative to the influential view inspired by Peter Strawson that friendship is the disposition to reactive attitudes and should be of interest both to moral theorists and to researchers who work on friendship.
In the final essay of the book -- "Skepticism about Autonomy and Responsibility as Educational Aims -- What Next?" -- Ishtiyaque Haji and Stefaan E. Cuypers provokingly argue that we should stop educating youngsters to become autonomous and responsible agents, at least if such goals are largely unattainable. Their starting point is the deterministic principle that we (often) cannot act differently from what we do, owing to factors beyond our control. Further, since responsibility and autonomy requires the ability to do otherwise, responsibility and autonomy are often beyond our reach. Instead, they argue that we should educate for other goals such as good citizenship.
We have barely skimmed the surface of this excellent volume of essays. It is a collection of front-line research in the intersection of agency, responsibility, moral luck and free will. As such, this volume is valuable for anyone interested in researching these subjects.
Buckareff, A., Moya, C., Rosell, S. (Eds.) (2015). Agency, Freedom and Moral Responsibility. London: Palgrave MacMillan UK.
Fischer, J. M., & Ravizza, M. (1998). Responsibility and Control: a Theory of Moral Responsibility. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Frankfurt, H. G. (1971). "Freedom of the Will and the Concept of a Person". The Journal of Philosophy, (1). 5.
McKenna, M. (2012). Conversation and Responsibility. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Sartorio, C. (2005). "A New Asymmetry between Actions and Omissions". Noûs, (3). 460.
Sartorio, C. (2016). Causation and Free Will. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Watson, G. (1975). "Free Agency". The Journal of Philosophy, (8). 205.
Zimmerman M. (2011). The Immorality Of Punishment. New York: Broadview Press.
© 2016 Mattias Gunnemyr
Mattias Gunnemyr, Ph.D student, Department of Philosophy, Lund University. Cathrine Felix, Ph.D, Department of Philosophy, Lund University.