Action, Ethics, and Responsibility


Most philosophical explorations of responsibility discuss the topic solely in terms of metaphysics and the "free will" problem. By contrast, these essays by leading philosophers view responsibility from a variety of perspectives—metaphysics, ethics, action theory, and the philosophy of law. After a broad, framing introduction by the volume's editors, the contributors consider such subjects as responsibility as it relates to the "free will" problem; the relation between responsibility and knowledge or ignorance; the relation between causal and moral responsibility; the difference, if any, between responsibility for actions and responsibility for omissions; the metaphysical requirements for making sense of "collective" responsibility; and the relation between moral and legal responsibility. The contributors include such distinguished authors as Alfred R. Mele, John Martin Fischer, George Sher, and Frances Kamm, as well as important rising scholars. Taken together, the essays in Action, Ethics, and Responsibility offer a breadth of perspectives that is unmatched by other treatments of the topic.

Contributors: Joseph Keim Campbell, David Chan, Randolph Clarke, E.J. Coffman, John Martin Fischer, Helen Frowe, Todd Jones, Frances Kamm, Antti Kauppinen, Alfred R. Mele, Michael O’Rourke, Paul Russell, Robert F. Schopp, George Sher, Harry S. Silverstein, Saul Smilansky, Donald Smith, Charles T. Wolfe

Table of Contents

  1. Acknowledgments
  2. 1. Action, Ethics, and Responsibility : A Framework

    Joseph Keim Campbell, Michael O'Rourke, and Harry S. Silverstein

  3. 2. A Reappraisal of the Doctrine of Doing and Allowing

    David K. Chan

  4. 3. Killing John to Save Mary : A Defense of the Moral Distinction between Killing and Letting Die

    Helen Frowe

  5. 4. Making Up One's Mind

    Randolph Clarke

  6. 5. Conscious Intentions

    Alfred R. Mele

  7. 6. Locke's Compatibilism : Suspension of Desire or Suspension of Determinism?

    Charles T. Wolfe

  8. 7. The Fall of the Mind Argument and Some Lessons about Freedom

    E. J. Coffman and Donald Smith

  9. 8. Selective Hard Compatibilism

    Paul Russell

  10. 9. Manipulation and Guidance Control : A Reply to Long

    John Martin Fischer

  11. 10. Free Will : Some Bad News

    Saul Smilansky

  12. 11. Responsibility and Practical Reason

    George Sher

  13. 12. The Metaphysics of Collective Agency

    Todd Jones

  14. 13. Moral Judgment and Volitional Incapacity

    Antti Kauppinen

  15. 14. "So Sick He Deserves It" : Desert, Dangerousness, and Character in the Context of Capital Sentencing

    Robert F. Schopp

  16. 15. Types of Terror Bombing and Shifting Responsibility

    Frances Kamm

  17. Contributors
  18. Index