Alternatives and responsibility
an asymmetrical approach
In this chapter, I defend an asymmetrical view concerning the relationship between alternative possibilities (APs) and moral responsibility (MR), according to which APs are required for being blameworthy, but not praiseworthy, for what one decides or does. I defend the nonnecessity of alternatives for praiseworthiness through an examination of what I call "Luther" examples. My defense of the necessity of alternatives for blameworthiness proceeds instead through an analysis of so-called Frankfurt examples. In both cases, my arguments rest on the contention that, in ascriptions of MR, the primary question is not whether the agent could have done otherwise, but whether she should have done what she did, so that the former question only becomes pressing when the answer to the latter is negative. Concerning MR, then, the concept of moral obligation or duty is prior to that of APs.
Moya, C. J. (2014)., Alternatives and responsibility: an asymmetrical approach, in A. Reboul (ed.), Mind, values, and metaphysics II, Dordrecht, Springer, pp. 25-37.
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