Action and Responsibility by Andrew Sneddon (auth.)

By Andrew Sneddon (auth.)

What makes an occasion count number as an motion? standard solutions attract the best way the development was once produced: e.g., possibly an arm move is an motion while brought on by psychological states (in specific ways), yet no longer whilst prompted in alternative routes. Andrew Sneddon argues that this sort of solution, which he calls "productionism", is methodologically and considerably improper. particularly, productionist solutions to this query are usually both individualistic or foundationalist, or either, with out particular defence. in its place, Sneddon deals an externalist, anti-foundationalist account of what makes an occasion count number as an motion, which he calls neo-ascriptivism, after the paintings of H.L.A. Hart. particularly, Sneddon argues that our practices of attributing ethical accountability to one another are no less than in part constitutive of occasions as actions.

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Extra resources for Action and Responsibility

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The same goes for many other events that a person performs while alone. By contrast, (b) entails a wide ascriptivism. Since pushing a book across a table is morally neutral, it falls within the moral domain. It is not amoral in any sense. The wide ascriptivist will say that this can be action: since the possibility of ascribing responsibility to an event is just a type necessary condition of action, the matter is not decided by determining that an event falls within the moral domain. There are other ways to put the difference between (a) and (b).

I have presented the ascription of responsibility as central to the ascriptivist answer to the status question. The reason such misunderstandings occur is the ambiguity of ‘ascribe’. There are, at least, the following three ways one can speak of ascription and action: 1) One ascribes ‘action’ to an event. 35 3) One ascribes moral responsibility to an agent. 33 Kurt Baier, ‘Responsibility and Action’. ), The Nature of Human Action (Glenview, Illinois, 1970), p. 112. 34 Geach, ‘Ascription’, p. 221.

Ladd’s objection only has force if one thinks one can identify actions and attribute responsibility outside of the rule-governed contexts of social ways of life. 4 Objection 4: Action not always tied to Responsibility The most obvious and most important objection is also the simplest: issues of responsibility just do not arise in all cases of action. 62 Both Geach and Pitcher hold that Hart was misled by his choice of examples. One might be tempted to think that responsibility is essentially linked to action if you consider such sentences as ‘He hit her’, as Hart does, but that when other sorts of example are considered, the link is not so attractive.

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