Moral Responsibility

Richard Swinburne

in Mind, Brain, and Free Will

Published in print December 2012 | ISBN: 9780199662562
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191748394 | DOI:
Moral Responsibility

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Humans are morally responsible for their actions if they have free will (in the sense of not being fully caused in what they try to do) and moral beliefs; they are culpable (morally guilty) for trying to do what they believe wrong, and meritorious for trying to do what they believe to be good but not obligatory. Versions of compatibilism are rejected; and–given agent causation—libertarianism is shown to be coherent, and—given that we have free will—true. Given substance dualism, we are morally responsible for our actions done long ago, as well as for recent actions. But our free will and so our moral responsibility is of a limited kind, limited at any one time by our powers of knowledge, and desires, but such that over time we can intentionally change the range of choices open to us.

Keywords: compatibilism; free will; guilt; libertarianism; merit; moral responsibility

Chapter.  11582 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Mind

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