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Surrounding Self-Control$
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Alfred R. Mele

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780197500941

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2020

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780197500941.001.0001

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Children, Responsibility for Self-Control Failures, and Narrative Capacity

Children, Responsibility for Self-Control Failures, and Narrative Capacity

(p.142) 8 Children, Responsibility for Self-Control Failures, and Narrative Capacity
Surrounding Self-Control

Meghan Griffith

Oxford University Press

Children are often regarded as less morally blameworthy when they fail to control their behavior. If one regards failures of self-control as failures to do what one knows or judges to be best, then one must ask whether children are less blameworthy even when they “know better.” The author argues that children are less blameworthy for these failures because it is harder for them to exercise self-control. She argues that one important reason that it is harder for children to control themselves is that children are still in the process of developing what she calls “narrative capacity.” Her account of this capacity is informed by both psychological and philosophical accounts. The chapter spells out the characteristic features of narrative capacity and illustrates how these are required for self-control.

Keywords:   children, moral responsibility, self-control, agency, narrative

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