Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Neuroscience and Legal Responsibility$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Nicole A. Vincent

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199925605

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199925605.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use (for details see www.oxfordscholarship.com/page/privacy-policy).date: 19 March 2019

Moral Responsibility and ConsciousnessTwo Challenges, One Solution

Moral Responsibility and ConsciousnessTwo Challenges, One Solution

(p.163) 7 Moral Responsibility and ConsciousnessTwo Challenges, One Solution
Neuroscience and Legal Responsibility

Neil Levy

Oxford University Press

Until recently, most philosophers seem implicitly to have assumed that consciousness is necessary for moral responsibility; this is, moreover, an assumption that seems built into the law. Under the pressure of scientific evidence and independent philosophical argument, some philosophers now reject that assumption. Against these philosophers, I argue that we need to be conscious of the facts that make our actions morally significant in order to be morally responsible for them. I present two separate defences of this claim. First, I argue that actions caused by unconscious attitudes do not express good or ill will toward others. Second, I argue that such actions do not express our evaluative agency. Finally, I turn to some alleged empirical evidence against the claim that we can be conscious of our volitions, and show how the defence offered is immune to this challenge.

Keywords:   consciousness, moral responsibility, reactive attitudes, libet, law

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .