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Grant number: FT-254443-17

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Travis Michael Timmerman
Seton Hall University (South Orange, NJ 07079-2697)

Accounting for Moral Responsibility in an Agent's Free Actions

Writing two papers to present at academic conferences in preparation for writing a book on moral responsibility.

Virtually all normative ethical theories hold that whether an action is morally right depends upon the alternative acts available to the agent. But what exactly are the relevant alternative acts available to an agent? The answer to this question is far from obvious once we consider facts about how an agent would freely act in various situations. Actualists say that the relevant acts are determined by how agents would act in any situation. Possibilists deny this. Hybridists posit an actualist and a possibilist ought. The actualism/possibilism debate has important, heretofore, overlooked implications for the philosophical debate about the nature of moral responsibility. I will write two papers which collectively demonstrate that (a) actualism cannot accommodate an essential desideratum for any plausible account of blameworthiness, yet which (b) hybridism can easily be developed to accommodate. Consequently, I will identify another reason to accept hybridism and reject actualism.

[Grant products]

Project fields:

Summer Stipends

Research Programs

Total amounts:
$6,000 (approved)
$6,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
5/1/2017 – 7/31/2017