Who Knew? Responsibility Without Awareness

ISBN-10: 0195389204
ISBN-13: 9780195389203
Edition: 2009
Authors: George Sher
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Description: To be responsible for their acts, agents must both perform those acts voluntarily and in some sense know what they are doing. Of these requirements, the voluntariness condition has been much discussed, but the epistemic condition has received far  More...

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Book details

List price: $28.95
Copyright year: 2009
Publisher: Oxford University Press, Incorporated
Publication date: 8/6/2009
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 168
Size: 5.50" wide x 8.00" long x 0.50" tall
Weight: 0.682
Language: English

To be responsible for their acts, agents must both perform those acts voluntarily and in some sense know what they are doing. Of these requirements, the voluntariness condition has been much discussed, but the epistemic condition has received far less attention. In Who Knew? George Sher seeks to rectify that imbalance. The book is divided in two halves, the first of which criticizes a popular but inadequate way of understanding the epistemic condition, while the second seeks to develop a more adequate alternative. It is often assumed that agents are responsible only for what they are aware of doing or bringing about--that their responsibility extends only as far as the searchlight of their consciousness. The book criticizes this "searchlight view" on two main grounds: first, that it is inconsistent with our attributions of responsibility to a broad range of agents who should but do not realize that they are acting wrongly or foolishly, and, second, that the view is not independently defensible.

Acknowledgements
The Searchlight View
Responsibility Without Awareness
Responsibility and Practical Reason
Kantian Fairness
Knew--Or Should Have Known?
A New Beginning
Setting the Norms of Recognition
The Responsible Self
Out of Control
Index

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