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Responsibility: The Epistemic Condition$
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Philip Robichaud and Jan Willem Wieland

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198779667

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: July 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198779667.001.0001

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Explaining (Away) the Epistemic Condition on Moral Responsibility

Explaining (Away) the Epistemic Condition on Moral Responsibility

(p.146) 8 Explaining (Away) the Epistemic Condition on Moral Responsibility
Responsibility: The Epistemic Condition
Gunnar Björnsson
Oxford University Press

This chapter combines the familiar Strawsonian idea that moral blame and credit depend on the agent’s quality of will with an independently motivated account of responsibility as grounded in a normal explanatory relation between agential qualities and objects of responsibility. The resulting “explanatory quality of will condition” on moral responsibility is then further motivated by being shown to account for the effects on moral blame and credit of justifications, excuses, and undermined control in cases where agents are fully aware of what they are doing. Having been independently motivated, the explanatory quality of will condition is then applied to cases involving lack of awareness. Though this condition involves no explicit epistemic condition on responsibility, it is shown how it accounts for the degrees to which lack of awareness can excuse.

Keywords:   responsibility, ignorance, epistemic condition, explanatory condition, quality of will

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