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Did My Neurons Make Me Do It?Philosophical and Neurobiological Perspectives on Moral Responsibility and Free Will$
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Nancey Murphy and Warren S. Brown

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199215393

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199215393.001.0001

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Who's Responsible?

Who's Responsible?

(p.238) 6 Who's Responsible?
Did My Neurons Make Me Do It?

Nancey Murphy (Contributor Webpage)

Warren S. Brown (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter deals with a central theme of the book: a philosophical analysis of the concept of morally responsible action. The account of moral agency worked out by Alasdair MacIntyre is utilized. In this account, morally responsible action depends (initially) on the ability to evaluate that which moves one to act in light of a concept of the good. The cognitive prerequisites for such action would include a sense of self, a narrative memory, the ability to run behavioral scenarios and predict their outcome, the ability to represent the future, and high-order symbolic language. In light of this, the problem of weakness of will and the meaning of free will are discussed.

Keywords:   moral agency, moral responsibility, acting for reasons, narrative memory, prediction, future representation, language, will, Alasdair MacIntyre

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