Moral Responsibility and the Self

David W. Shoemaker

in The Oxford Handbook of the Self

Published in print February 2011 | ISBN: 9780199548019
Published online May 2011 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Philosophy

 Moral Responsibility and the Self

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This article examines the relationship between the self and moral responsibility. It shows that what makes an action the person's own (what keeps the agent in the picture) with regard to responsibility is better expressed in terms of practical identity than in terms of personal identity. It argues that all such criteria of personal identity (psychological, biological, narrative) fail to provide a sufficient account of how a person can be morally responsible for an action and suggests that identity does not matter for moral responsibility.

Keywords: self; moral responsibility; action; practical identity; personal identity

Article.  15197 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy ; Moral Philosophy ; Metaphysics

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