Chapter

Justifying the Practice

Manuel Vargas

in Building Better Beings

Published in print January 2013 | ISBN: 9780199697540
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191748851 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199697540.003.0007
Justifying the Practice

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This chapter argues that agents can be justified in holding one another responsible, irrespective of whether anyone is a libertarian agent. The chapter begins by exploring and rejecting several familiar approaches for justifying responsibility-characteristic practices, such as P. F. Strawson’s account and the consequentialist approach in the work of Schlick and others. It then goes on to argue for a teleological account—the agency cultivation model—that makes use of some of the ideas in these rejected approaches, while also making use of the idea of a Reasons account of the sort gestured at in chapter 5. It concludes by showing how responsibility practices and norms can be justified, independent of appeal to libertarian forms of agency, without running afoul of the traditional objections to moral influence approaches.

Keywords: moral influence; agency cultivation model; Schlick; Smart; Strawson; consequentialism; scapegoating; teleology; responsibility; blameworthiness

Chapter.  17140 words. 

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

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