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Clean HandsPhilosophical Lessons from Scrupulosity$
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Jesse S. Summers and Walter Sinnott-Armstrong

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780190058692

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190058692.001.0001

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Responsibility

Responsibility

Chapter:
(p.123) 7 Responsibility
Source:
Clean Hands
Author(s):

Jesse S. Summers

Walter Sinnott-Armstrong

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190058692.003.0008

Responsibility admits of degrees, and Scrupulosity seems to diminish responsibility for harms caused to some degree. We focus on whether Scrupulosity provides an excuse that reduces or removes moral liability responsibility for bad actions or consequences. More precisely, we distinguish attributability, answerability, and accountability responsibility. Our question is whether someone with Scrupulosity is accountability responsible—whether it is fitting to feel anger, resentment, or indignation toward them—for harms they cause. We consider two compatibilist theories of responsibility: deep-self theories and reasons-responsiveness theories. Unlike deep-self theories, reasons-responsiveness theories can distinguish scrupulous actions by distinguishing responding to reasons from responding to anxiety. Finally, we address whether present responsibility can be traced to one’s previous bad decisions and cases in which one was clearly responsible.

Keywords:   responsibility, liability, answerability, accountability, attributability, deep-self, reasons-responsiveness, tracing principle

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