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Responsibility and Distributive Justice$
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Carl Knight and Zofia Stemplowska

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199565801

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199565801.001.0001

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Responsibility and False Beliefs 1

Responsibility and False Beliefs 1

(p.174) 8 Responsibility and False Beliefs1
Responsibility and Distributive Justice

Peter Vallentyne

Oxford University Press

This chapter addresses the question of how false or incomplete beliefs affect agent-responsibility for outcomes. For simplicity, the agent is assumed not to be responsible for her false beliefs. One possible effect of false beliefs is that some outcomes will be unforeseen. It is generally recognized that agents are not responsible for unforeseen impacts and this chapter assumes that this is correct. A second possible effect of false beliefs is that the agent will falsely imagine there to be certain impacts. It is argued (with some qualifications) that imaginary impacts are excusing conditions that reduce or eliminate responsibility for outcomes but can never enhance responsibility for outcomes.

Keywords:   responsibility, false belief, incomplete belief, outcome, excuse

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