Responsibility for Self: Agency and the Attitudes

dc.contributor.authorRosner, Marken
dc.contributor.departmentPhilosophyen
dc.contributor.supervisorKumar, Rahulen
dc.date2015-09-08 20:41:10.951
dc.date.accessioned2015-09-15T19:58:24Z
dc.date.available2015-09-15T19:58:24Z
dc.date.issued2015-09-15
dc.degree.grantorQueen's University at Kingstonen
dc.descriptionThesis (Ph.D, Philosophy) -- Queen's University, 2015-09-08 20:41:10.951en
dc.description.abstractThis thesis defends the claim that the core idea of moral responsibility is fixed by our best theory of agency. Such a theory concerns the proper conditions of attribution of an attitude or an action to an agent for the purposes of moral appraisal – or what I call the rational relations view. The first chapter attempts to outline and motivate the conception of agency that has as its core the idea that agents are responsible for the judgement-sensitive attitudes that can be appropriately attributed to them and that they can be morally responsible for those attitudes when their judgements have morally objectionable contents. In my second chapter I present and argue against what I take to be the strongest alternative to the rational relations view, the theory of moral responsibility that has been elaborated by Harry Frankfurt over a number of years. The third chapter addresses a concern that conceptions of responsibility that are too closely tied to theories of agency can either be too superficial in their assessment and evaluation of the agent or actually unfair in their determinations of responsibility. The fourth chapter extends this discussion of the unfairness charge by explicitly addressing the question of the value of moral responsibility. My final chapter concerns an issue that lies at the intersection of questions in the philosophy of agency and moral responsibility: how to make sense of and be open to criticism for our acts of irrationality. I take the example of akratic, or weak-willed action, where an agent acts contrary to her better judgement (or what she judges best in a situation) as a paradigm instance of irrationality. I argue that RR has adequate resources to make sense of this phenomenon. At base, this thesis aspires to show that by elaborating an attractive picture of our agency we can at the same time shed light on what it means to be a responsible agent – one for whom it is intelligible and valuable to say we are morally responsible for our attitudes and actions.en
dc.description.degreePhDen
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/1974/13609
dc.language.isoengen
dc.relation.ispartofseriesCanadian thesesen
dc.rightsQueen's University's Thesis/Dissertation Non-Exclusive License for Deposit to QSpace and Library and Archives Canadaen
dc.rightsProQuest PhD and Master's Theses International Dissemination Agreementen
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dc.rightsCreative Commons - Attribution - CC BYen
dc.rightsThis publication is made available by the authority of the copyright owner solely for the purpose of private study and research and may not be copied or reproduced except as permitted by the copyright laws without written authority from the copyright owner.en
dc.subjectActionen
dc.subjectAttitudesen
dc.subjectMoral Responsibilityen
dc.subjectResentmenten
dc.subjectBlameen
dc.subjectEthicsen
dc.subjectPunishmenten
dc.subjectHarry Frankfurten
dc.subjectAkrasiaen
dc.subjectVolitionismen
dc.subjectChoiceen
dc.subjectAgencyen
dc.titleResponsibility for Self: Agency and the Attitudesen
dc.typethesisen
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