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Randolph Clarke
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I'll continue to monitor my previous posts, but my month as Featured Author is done. Thanks to all who commented! It's been illuminating and lots of fun. Continue reading
Posted May 30, 2014 at Flickers of Freedom
Some writers distinguish different kinds, or faces, or aspects of moral responsibility. (Sometimes the distinction is said to be one of senses, or concepts, or conceptions.) Some of this stems from Watson's distinction, in "Two Faces of Responsibility," between attributability and accountability. Where Watson sees two, some see three, or... Continue reading
Posted May 24, 2014 at Flickers of Freedom
Let's say that the guilty are those who are blameworthy for moral wrongdoing. Do they deserve to suffer? I say "Yes." It's fitting that someone who is blameworthy for wrongdoing feel guilty for that wrongdoing. Not all the time, of course, and not too much. But at the right time... Continue reading
Posted May 17, 2014 at Flickers of Freedom
The last two days I've been in a workshop at Georgia State. We discussed with David Shoemaker his manuscript, Responsibility from the Margins. It's rich with theoretical insight and informative discussion of problem cases involving such things as autism, Tourrette syndrome, and psychopathy. Dave plans to complete revisions soon. Look... Continue reading
Posted May 16, 2014 at Flickers of Freedom
Everyone knows Mele's tale of Ernie. Here's a close copy: Ernie lives in a deterministic world. The goddess Diana put together his zygote thirty years ago, wanting an act of A-ing to be performed by her creation thirty years later and knowing just how to put things together so that... Continue reading
Posted May 9, 2014 at Flickers of Freedom
I just received author's copies of Omissions from the publisher (image and link to the left). Be the first on your block to get one! I dare say it's presently the BEST book on the topic. OK, OK, it's presently the ONLY one, but let's not get picky. Thanks to... Continue reading
Posted May 9, 2014 at Flickers of Freedom
Assuming that we're morally responsible for anything, among the things for which we're responsible are actions (helping someone out), events and states that result from actions (someone's suffering), and omitting or refraining from acting (examples to come). Theories of responsibility commonly focus largely on responsibility for actions, and they often... Continue reading
Posted May 6, 2014 at Flickers of Freedom
What Doug said. My experience, with OUP at least, is that they'll gladly do what the author asks on this score.
I started to post something on what omissions are, but I see I did that four years ago! So I'll start with something else, a topic I've thought a little about and so far find puzzling. Several writers (and it seems many recently) have said that the powers of agents... Continue reading
Posted May 2, 2014 at Flickers of Freedom
Many thanks to Thomas for inviting me to host some discussions here. Some things I might post about: omitting and refraining, negligence, the causal theory of action, kinds of moral responsibility, agency and "two-way" powers, agent causation. I'll get something going in a day or so. Feel free to add... Continue reading
Posted May 1, 2014 at Flickers of Freedom
Here's a link to a forum on blame, published in Boston Review. (I found the notice on Leiter Reports.) I haven't had time to do more than skim, but it looks really interesting. Continue reading
Posted Jul 16, 2013 at Flickers of Freedom
I wanted to recommend a recent book, A Free Will: Origins of the Notion in Ancient Thought, by Michael Frede. The book stems for lectures Frede gave at U. C. Berkeley about fifteen years ago. Among the themes: Aristotle didn't have a notion of the will; the first appearance of... Continue reading
Posted Aug 23, 2012 at Flickers of Freedom
After months of research (not on this question!) I've found the following concerning why Dickinson Miller published his famous paper on free will under a pseudonym: 'Hume Without Scepticism' and the article on 'Freewill as Involving Determination' both appeared in Mind under the name R. E. Hobart, though Miller openly... Continue reading
Posted Jun 22, 2012 at Flickers of Freedom
Does anyone know why Dickinson S. Miller published his famous free-will paper under the name R. E. Hobart? The Encyclopedia of Philosophy lists one other paper published under the pseudonym and several published by Miller under his own name. Continue reading
Posted Feb 7, 2012 at Flickers of Freedom
Not ready for prime time, they say. Continue reading
Posted Nov 2, 2011 at Flickers of Freedom
The second edition of the Oxford Handbook of Free Will is out. Thanks to Bob Kane for putting it together. Continue reading
Posted Jul 12, 2011 at Flickers of Freedom
The Consequence Argument for incompatibilism commonly begins with an alleged implication of determinism. Suppose determinism is true. Let L state the (actual) laws of nature, let P0 characterized the total state of the world at some time in the distant past, and let P truly state that some human agent... Continue reading
Posted Apr 22, 2011 at Flickers of Freedom
At the risk of trying your patience, I thought I'd pursue a question that came up in some of the comments on the preceding post: what is an omission? Some candidates: 1) Some familiar (positive) sort of thing, e.g., some action the agent is performing instead of doing the omitted... Continue reading
Posted Jun 15, 2010 at Flickers of Freedom
It's widely accepted that in a standard Frankfurt-style case, the agent can be responsible for what she does, despite the presence of something poised to make sure that she does that very thing. These standard cases involve agents who ACT and, despite the would-be intervention, are responsible for their ACTIONS.... Continue reading
Posted Jun 8, 2010 at Flickers of Freedom
Well, apparently babies go for it. See the article: Continue reading
Posted May 11, 2010 at Flickers of Freedom
Kadri, my remarks were compressed, because of the time constraint, and I'm sure they weren't as clear as they should have been. I believe you've misinterpreted them at a few points. "He says that we are forced to endorse a version of my (A2), which says that my apparently ordinary ability to raise my hand is actually the incredible ability to do something such that if I had done it, my action would have caused the laws or the past to be different." I didn't talk about causing laws (or the past) to be different. In fact, I did wonder (though not aloud) what causing the laws to be different would be; I don't think I understand that idea. "I am puzzled by Randy's insistence that the Classic compatibilist must endorse Lewis's theory of counterfactuals." I didn't so insist. I believe you said in your paper that you thought Lewis's theory was the way to go, and I think you've defended it in the past. My approach was simply to adopt it for the sake of argument. "Randy says that if I had raised my arm, my choice would have been the miracle." I didn't claim this. I said that (supposing determinism to be true and I didn't raise my arm) what the divergence miracle would have been (had I raised my arm) depends on contingent features of the world. In some deterministic world in which an agent doesn't raise her arm at a certain time, it's true that had she then raised it, the divergence miracle would have been some choice made by her, some choice she didn't in fact make. I hoped to find out whether you thought that she might nevertheless still have been able to raise her arm. I think you said yes.