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Seminars in Moral Philosophy Week 5 HT13

Event Name Seminars in Moral Philosophy Week 5 HT13
Start Date 11th Feb 2013 4:30pm
End Date 11th Feb 2013 6:30pm
Duration 2 hours

Speaker: Erasmus Mayr (Oxford)

Title: Moral Responsibility - 'metaphysical' or 'normative'?

Venue: Lecture Room, Radcliffe Humanities, Woodstock Road, OX2 6GG

Abstract: A growing number of philosophers have come to think that the traditional debate between compatibilists and incompatibilists about moral responsibility was based on a misconception of the original question. While, on their view, the traditional debate took the question about moral responsibility to be one about 'metaphysical', non-normative facts, they advocate a 'normative' interpretation of this question. One influential strand of the 'normative' interpretation takes its cue from P. Strawson's Freedom and Resentment and attempts to spell out the conditions for moral responsibility in terms of the appropriateness of reactive attitudes. I will explore some of the merits and limitations of this approach. While I take it to contain some important insights and to raise a major challenge for traditional conceptions of moral responsibility, I will argue that, even when we accept these insights, the connection between normative considerations and the conditions for moral responsibility will be much less direct than adherents of this approach usually think. As a consequence, not only the route from moral norms to an account of moral responsibility will be more 'tortuous', but also the supposed opposition between 'metaphysical' and 'normative' interpretations should be reconsidered.

Webpage: Seminars in Moral Philosophy

Convenors: Dr Edward Harcourt and Dr Guy Kahane

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