A Rational Abilities View of Responsibility

Dana Kay Nelkin

in Making Sense of Freedom and Responsibility

Published in print July 2011 | ISBN: 9780199608560
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191729638 | DOI:
A Rational Abilities View of Responsibility

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In this chapter, the rational abilities view is introduced. Stated most simply, the view is that one is responsible for an action if and only if one acts with the ability to recognize and act for good reasons. The view is shown to be motivated in part by its intuitive appeal and apparent manifestation in many of our practices. It is also shown to be a compatibilist view, albeit one that shares some important features with incompatibilist views. In particular, the view incorporates a special kind of asymmetry: the ability to do otherwise is needed for blameworthy actions, but not for praiseworthy ones.

Keywords: rational abilities; compatibilism; asymmetry; blameworthy; praiseworthy

Chapter.  10156 words. 

Subjects: Metaphysics

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