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Rosen- Skepticism about Moral Responsibility.docx

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Carleton University
PHIL 2550

Rosen Skepticism about Moral Responsibility Rosens Skepticism my skeptic concedes that the conditions for moral responsibility are satisfiable in the actually would In fact he may concede that they are frequently satisfied His skeptical claim is quite narrowly focused It is that whatever we may know at a general level about the possibility of culpable bad action in the actual world in any particular case in which we may be tempted to judge that X is responsible for doing A this particular judgment of responsibility would be unwarranted or unreasonableRosens Project1 The basic structure of the Rosens argumentA theory of moral respon is an account of the conditions under which an agent is liable to blame for an act or more generally for an occurrencelets call any consideration that defeats the standing presumption of blameworthiness an excuseSo Rosens task is show that there excuses sufficient to warrant his skeptical conclusion he says that there are always excuses out there an excuse with a toehold in ordinary morality but whose full force ordinary morality fails to register we are never in a position in any real life position to show that no real life excuse is available and if this is so then we are never able to judge them because all we know is that they have an excuse even if the person is unaware of the excuse there is still the possibility of one thats just how the world works if there is an excuse then you should excuse them of their moral responsibility but if there is no known excuse then you should withhold on judging themthe agnostic view Types of Ignorance when you didnt know your actions would cause harm I poisoned my wife but I didnt know there was poison in the tea not to blame factual ignorance If X does A from ignorancethen X is culpable for the act only if he is culpable for the ignorance from which he acts when someone tortures a person for not complying with the authorities just complying and doing the right thing in their minds its not their fault that they didnt know Germans knew their actions where questionable so it does not count ignorant of moral facts suppose you grow up in a society in which everyone believes that beating slaves is morally appropriate no one disputes it its how you grew up everyone has the moral facts wrong just ignorant of a moral fact can we hold them responsible if they are morally misinformed think of Nazi Germany in this situation propaganda and such told them it was fine moral ignorance ignorance about the strengths of his reasons justifying reasons a list of pros and cons that you could have gone on to make a decision you could be ignorant in a sense that you are unable to
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