Responsibility and Dignity

Bennett W. Helm

in Morality and the Emotions

Published in print October 2011 | ISBN: 9780199577507
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191731235 | DOI:
Responsibility and Dignity

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Peter Strawson usefully connected the concepts of freedom and responsibility with the reactive attitudes, but there has been some controversy concerning both the nature of that connection and what the reactive attitudes are. This chapter argues that we can best understand the reactive attitudes by seeing them as individually presupposing and jointly constituting both our respect for persons and the dignity to which that respect is responsive. Consequently, being both a proper subject and object of the reactive attitudes is to be a member of the normative community of fellow persons within which one both takes responsibility and is held responsible for what one does. This just is to be a responsible agent

Keywords: responsibility; agency; dignity; respect; emotions; reactive attitudes; community; Strawson; Wallace

Chapter.  9655 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

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