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Decomposing the Will$
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Andy Clark, Julian Kiverstein, and Tillmann Vierkant

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199746996

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199746996.001.0001

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Situationism and Moral Responsibility

Situationism and Moral Responsibility

Free Will in Fragments

(p.325) 17 Situationism and Moral Responsibility
Decomposing the Will

Manuel Vargas

Oxford University Press

Many prominent accounts of free will and moral responsibility make use of the idea that agents can be responsive to reasons. Call such theories "Reasons" accounts. This chapter considers the tenability of Reasons accounts in light of situationist social psychology and, to a lesser extent, the automaticity literature. The first half of the chapter argues that Reasons accounts are genuinely threatened by results in contemporary psychology. The second half argues that these threats can largely be met, but that doing so requires abandoning a suite of familiar assumptions and expectations about responsible agency and Reasons accounts in particular. The chapter goes on to advance a new account of responsible agency that accommodates a variety of worries about situationism and automaticity.

Keywords:   situationism, automaticity, free will, moral responsibility, Reasons accounts, responsible agency

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