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The Ethics and Law of Omissions
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The Ethics and Law of Omissions

Dana Kay Nelkin and Samuel C. Rickless

Abstract

This volume explores the moral and legal aspects of omissions, with a view to understanding the principles that govern moral responsibility and legal liability for omissive conduct. Omissions are puzzling because, first, they appear to be nonentities, and, second, it appears paradoxical that one could be responsible or liable for something that, in some sense, doesn’t exist and that one might not even be aware of at the time it occurs. Many of this book’s contributors try to make sense of the possibility of moral responsibility for omissions, including those that occur unwittingly. The disagre ... More

Keywords: omission, responsibility, blame, tracing, opportunity, alternative possibility, freedom, creation of a peril, continuing act doctrine, culpability

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2017 Print ISBN-13: 9780190683450
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2017 DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190683450.001.0001

Authors

Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Dana Kay Nelkin, editor
Professor of Philosophy, University of California, San Diego

Samuel C. Rickless, editor
Professor of Philosophy, University of California, San Diego

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Contents

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Part I Omissions, Moral Responsibility, and the Self

Part II Omissions, Moral Responsibility, and Control

5 Omissions, Agency, and Control

Michael J. Zimmerman

6 Moral Responsibility for Unwitting Omissions

Dana Kay Nelkin and Samuel C. Rickless

Part III Omissions, Moral Responsibility, and Alternative Possibilities

8 Responsibility and Omissions

John Martin Fischer

Part IV Criminal Liability for Omissions

9 Courses of Conduct

Douglas Husak

Part V The Duty Requirement in the Criminal Law of Omissions

End Matter