The Spring 2019 Philosophy Colloquium Series presents Christel Fricke (University of Oslo).
Title: Moral conversations: Moderate Blame and Responsibility
I shall pick up on McKenna’s communicative account of responsibility and propose revisions and further developments; as I shall argue, the expressivist and the realist accounts of agential responsibility can be reconciled. My account is constructivist in kind. The process of constructing agential responsibility takes the shape of a moral conversation between an agent and those who hold her responsible. In the course of such a conversation, the participants have the opportunity to align their moral understanding, including in particular their understanding of the conditions under which agents are obliged to take the moral responsibility for their actions.
The idea underlying my approach to responsibility is that we should turn from a static account of an agent’s being responsible to a more dynamic account of an agent’s taking the responsibility for an action in response to those who hold him responsible and request an explanation or a justification for what she did. Taking the responsibility for an action depends on having certain intellectual and emotional capacities. Agents can acquire these capacities only if they are mentally healthy at least to a certain minimum degree; but mental health is only a necessary condition for agential responsibility; the acquisition of these capacities also depends on learning opportunities.
Location: Maloney Seminar Room, Social Sciences 224.