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Luck, Value, and CommitmentThemes From the Ethics of Bernard Williams$
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Ulrike Heuer and Gerald Lang

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199599325

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199599325.001.0001

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Agency and Luck

Agency and Luck

(p.133) 5 Agency and Luck
Luck, Value, and Commitment

Joseph Raz

Oxford University Press

An examination of Williams account of agent-regret leads to its supplementation, and to an explanation of why we are attached to, and responsible for, some of our actions even when we do not control them, by relating our attachments to the emerging sense of who we are. These reflections lead to showing (a) that the control principle of responsibility reaches further than is often assumes, e.g. to establish responsibility for some beliefs and emotions, and (b) that we are responsible for actions regarding which the control principle does not apply. The chapter defends a rational functioning principle of responsibility. It concludes with some observations about how these conclusion bear on the question of blameworthiness which follow in Williams's footsteps.

Keywords:   responsibility, Bernard Williams, moral luck, agent-regret, Robert Adams, controlling actions, rational guidance, blameworthiness

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