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Who Knew?Responsibility Without Awareness$
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George Sher

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780195389197

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195389197.001.0001

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Kantian Fairness

Kantian Fairness

(p.55) Four Kantian Fairness
Who Knew?

George Sher (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter continues the quest for a positive rationale for the searchlight view. It extends the attempt made in Chapter 3 to derive the view from the deliberative perspective by introducing the principle that it is unfair to hold people responsible for features or results of their acts that they did not foresee. The central problem for this strategy is to articulate and defend the relevant notion of fairness, here dubbed “Kantian fairness” because of its affinities with Kant's views about moral worth. Although any demand that an agent cannot see how to meet is bound to seem unfair from his perspective, the crucial question is why the agent's perspective should be authoritative in determining whether it is fair for others, who occupy different perspectives, to hold him responsible. Although several possible answers to this question are examined, none is found to succeed.

Keywords:   responsibility, Kant, fairness, first-person, third-person, deliberation, identification

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