Book

Responsibility

J. R. Lucas

Published in print May 1995 | ISBN: 9780198235781
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191679117 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198235781.001.0001
Responsibility

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Responsibility is a key concept in our moral, social, and political thinking, but is not itself properly understood. This book elucidates it in terms of answerability—the obligation to answer the question ‘Why did you do it?’ It develops this account to include negative responsibility—‘Why did you not do something about it?’—and share responsibility, which together yield the rationale of political responsibility. In disentangling these two strands of argument, the book points out potential conflicts between them within our ideal of responsible government. It exposes the flaws in consequentialism generally, and the utilitarian theory of punishment in particular, and argues for the insights of retributive theories but without the vindictiveness. The book devotes separate chapters to rewards, money, and personal relations, outlines the fundamental principles of business and professional ethics, and finally touches on those issues that go beyond responsibility altogether.

Keywords: responsibility; answerability; political; conflicts; responsible; government

Book.  306 pages.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

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Table of Contents

Introduction in Responsibility

Chapter

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Why Did You Do It? in Responsibility

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Free Will in Responsibility

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Reasons in Responsibility

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Punishment in Responsibility

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Doing and Deserving in Responsibility

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Money in Responsibility

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