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The Cognitive Boundaries of Responsibility (Die kognitiven Grenzen der Verantwortung)

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This paper poses a new challenge to control-based theories of moral responsibility. Control-based theories – as defended, for instance, by Aristotle and John Martin Fischer – hold that an agent is responsible for an action only if she acted voluntarily and knew what she was doing. However, this paper argues that there is a large class of cases of unreflective behavior of which the following is true: (a) the persons involved did not have the kind of control required by control-based theories, yet (b) we intuitively take the persons involved to be morally responsible.

Affiliations: 1: Universität Regensburg,


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