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Conversation and Responsibility - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Conversation and Responsibility

Michael McKenna


Moral responsibility can be explained by analogy with a conversation. The relation between a morally responsible agent and those who hold her morally responsible is like the relation between a speaker and her audience. A responsible agent’s actions are bearers of meaning, agent meaning, just as a speaker’s utterances are bearers of speaker meaning. Agent meaning is a function of the morally quality of the will with which an agent acts. Those who hold an agent morally responsible for what she does do so by responding to her as if in a conversation. By responding with certain morally reactive at ... More

Keywords: moral responsibility, P.F. Strawson, reactive attitudes, agent meaning, conversation

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2012 Print ISBN-13: 9780199740031
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2012 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199740031.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Michael McKenna, author
University of Arizona