Browsing All Posts filed under »Moral Responsibility«

Does Blameworthiness Require Wrongdoing?

February 11, 2013 by

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A commonly held presupposition is that a person can be blameworthy only for acts that are considered morally wrong. I’ll refer to this as the ‘blameworthiness requires wrongness’ (BW) principle. Recently, a few philosophers began denying this principle citing cases where it is morally permissible to act in a certain way even though such acts […]

The Nature of Blame

September 26, 2012 by

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What is the nature of blame? Recently, I took my prelim exam in the Philosophy of Mind and one of the questions I answered was on the reactive attitudes and their effect on how we perceive what the nature of blame is. I found the question quite intriguing, and, the purpose of this post will be […]

The ‘Free Will Problem’

August 13, 2012 by

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The purpose of this post is simple; to navigate through some of the different positions one could take regarding the ‘problem of free will‘. I’ve been asked by some to go over the basics, so, here it goes. I’ll define the major terms internal to the debate  to give readers a bit more context and […]

Free Will: Why Sam Harris needs to read more Philosophy

July 29, 2012 by

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In his book ‘Free Will’ (2012) Sam Harris offers up the conclusion that “free will is an illusion”. I can’t say that I’m surprised given the fact that  many neuroscientists have offered up similar responses to the free will problem (Libet 83′, 99′, 01′, 03′, among others) . But, falling in line with Libet and other neuroscientists […]

James Holmes: How his case can shed light on discussions of Moral Responsibility.

July 24, 2012 by

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In a recent blog post in Scientific American the author, Larry Geenemeier, suggests that the accused Colorado Shooter was lacking cognitive control and points specifically to one’s cognitive ability in order to try to make sense of the actions in Aurora, Colorado and other recent events by similarly profiled assailants. Though I agree that we […]

Parental Obligation, Abortion, and Choice

June 19, 2012 by

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Many of those that believe a woman should have a right to choose (whether to abort or keep her baby) also believe that men should have to pay child support, but, is holding both of these statements consistent? Fairly recently, feminist philosopher Elizabeth Brake (2005) has argued that it’s inconsistent and unfair to hold that […]

Forgiveness: How does it work?

June 12, 2012 by

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My current philosophical interests are centered around the metaphysics of moral responsibility. This forces me to deal with the assumed underlying epistemic and control conditions. It also forces me to consider blame; when one is worthy of it (blameworthiness), how we normally ascribe it (active blame), and how we move from blame and holding one […]

Is ‘Flopping’ a Form of Cheating in Basketball?

June 6, 2012 by

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Yesterday, while watching game 5 of the NBA Eastern Conference Finals I witnessed a flop in the 4th quarter by Boston Celtics player Ray Allen. Watching him flop (by flop I am referring to acting as if a player was fouled when in fact the player wasn’t in an attempt to convince the refs that […]

Vegetarianism, Food Selection, and the Trolley Problem (Part 2)

June 2, 2012 by

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Do stereo typical meat eaters value the lives of animals more than plants? As stated in an earlier post, I think that they do. If this is the case, then it seems that when making food selections it would be inconsistent for the meat-eater to choose animal meat over the vegetarian option assuming that they […]

Psychopaths: Morally Responsible?

May 24, 2012 by

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In April I gave a talk at a Free Will/ Moral Responsibility conference  near my hometown in Massachusetts on the culpability of psychopaths. There, I argued that psychopaths are morally responsible for their actions because they have the necessary cognitive mechanisms one needs to properly judge an action as morally right or morally wrong. Now […]