The Orthodox View of the Act Requirement and Its Normative Defence
The orthodox view of the act requirement is that it requires that there be a willed bodily movement. Excluded by the requirement are omissions, states of mind, emotions, bad character, status, and involuntary bodily movements. The act requirement is seen as justified on moral grounds, not on utilitarian grounds. The moral ground is that our moral obligations are concerned more with what we do, and not what we fail to prevent or who we are (these last being the proper subjects of the virtues); and that punishment should only be for failures of obligation, not for failures of virtue.
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