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Consciousness and Moral Responsibility$
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Neil Levy

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780198704638

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198704638.001.0001

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Consciousness and Control

Consciousness and Control

(p.109) 6 Consciousness and Control
Consciousness and Moral Responsibility

Neil Levy

Oxford University Press

This chapter turns to accounts of moral responsibility that make control a central condition. Focusing on the relatively undemanding account of control developed by John Martin Fischer and Martin Ravizza, I argue that agents who are not conscious of the facts that give to their actions their moral significance do not exercise control over that significance. It is also explained how agents may be capable of breathtaking creativity without relying on the conscious integration of contents. The chapter concludes with some remarks on George Sher’s arguments against the claim that consciousness is needed for moral responsibility. Sher’s account is criticized on the grounds that the account of capacities to which it is committed is unsatisfactory, the demands it levels are in the actual world unfair, and his account of origination is too permissive.

Keywords:   Moral responsibility, control, creativity, John Martin Fischer, George Sher

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