Agency and Responsibility

By In Action Theory (Philosophy of Action), Agency and Responsibility, Announcements Comments (0)

NOWAR 5! Call for Abstracts

This is a call for abstracts for the fifth biennial New Orleans Workshop on Agency and Responsibility (NOWAR 5), to be held in New Orleans, LA at the Aloft Hotel on November 14-16, 2019. Abstracts are welcome on any topic having to do with agency and/or responsibility. Perspectives beyond just those from moral philosophy — including psychology, legal theory, neuroscience, economics, metaphysics, and more — are quite welcome. (Click here to see more about the workshop’s general aims and other details. See also David Shoemaker’s personal website for information.)


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By In Featured Philosophers, Moral Responsibility Comments (11)

Featured Philosopher: Julia Markovits

Very pleased to be able to introduce our next Featured Philosopher, my Upstate friend, Julia Markovits. Take it away Julia:

Thanks so much for inviting me to contribute!

I’m currently working on a book about praise- and blameworthiness.  One thing I’ll have something to say about in the book is how to understand degrees of praise- and blameworthiness In the book, I defend a kind of quality-of-will account, according to which one dimension of moral worth tracks the extent to which we are (or fail to be) motivated to act by the reasons that would make something the right thing to do.  (I’ve defended this claim before, in my paper “Acting for the Right Reasons” (Philosophical Review, 2010).)  That thesis gives us the tools to account for one kind of variation in degree of moral worth, since our motivating reasons can overlap more or less with the normative reasons that apply to us.

But this notion of degrees of overlap can’t explain some variations in degree of moral worth than seem to have a lot of intuitive support.  For example (as I argued in another paper, “Saints, Heroes, Sages, and Villains, Philosophical Studies, 2012), it can’t explain what makes so-called “heroic” actions especially praiseworthy, since both heroic and ordinary actions may exhibit perfect overlap between the reasons motivating their performance and the normative reasons justifying them.


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By In ETMP Discussions at PEA Soup, Moral Responsibility, Political Philosophy Comments (12)

Ethical Theory and Moral Practice Discussion on Ian Carter’s “Equal Opportunity, Responsibility, and Personal Identity” with a Critical Précis by Kasper Lippert-Rasmussen

Welcome to the second Ethical Theory and Moral Practice discussion here at PEA Soup! This time, we’re discussing Ian Carter‘s new article, “Equal Opportunity, Responsibility, and Personal Identity”, which can be downloaded here. Kasper Lippert-Rasmussen kicks things off with a critical précis, which appears immediately below. Please join the discussion!


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By In Agency and Responsibility, ETMP Discussions at PEA Soup, Uncategorized Comments Off on Upcoming Ethical Theory and Moral Practice Discussion on October 19-21: Ian Carter’s “Equal Opportunity, Responsibility, and Personal Identity”

Upcoming Ethical Theory and Moral Practice Discussion on October 19-21: Ian Carter’s “Equal Opportunity, Responsibility, and Personal Identity”

We’re excited to announce the second Ethical Theory and Moral Practice discussion here at PEA Soup, which will be from Friday, October 19th until Sunday, October 21st. The discussion will be on Ian Carter‘s excellent “Equal Opportunity, Responsibility, and Personal Identity”. ETMP has generously provided free access to the article, which can be found here. Kasper Lippert-Rasmussen has kindly agreed to write a critical précis of the article, which will be posted on the 19th. We hope that you will join the discussion!

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By In Action Theory (Philosophy of Action) Comments Off on Interview Series on Philosophy of Action

Interview Series on Philosophy of Action

Istvan Zardai (Keio University) has been conducting and posting some very cool “mini-interviews” with leading philosophers of action over the past year, on the site Philosophy of Action. Check it out! It includes interviews with Michael Smith, Randy Clarke, Pamela Hieronymi, Manuel Vargas, Kieran Setiya, Christine Korsgaard, Al Mele, Eddy Nahmias, Santiago Amaya, and many, many more (22 more, in fact).

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By In Agency and Responsibility, I Wish I Knew Then... Comments (4)

I wish I knew then what I know now about…moral responsibility

Let us know your special (perhaps hard-earned) insights into the field of moral responsibility. Think of it as a way to provide a shortcut to those just starting in the field. Could include articles/books, arguments, or views you wish you’d known about much earlier than you did.

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By In Call for Abstracts, Call For Papers, Moral Responsibility Comments Off on CfA: Blame, Punishment, and Health

CfA: Blame, Punishment, and Health

How should our practices of blame and punishment take into account the mental and physical conditions of those we blame and punish? Philosophers working on moral responsibility have taken up this question squarely, prompting conversations about addiction, immaturity, and the like. But what about the blame and punishment we impose on responsible wrongdoers? How does our health–both physical and mental–affect those practices? For example:  Should we abandon blame if the wrongdoer develops severe dementia? Should punishing young offenders take into account the limited window of reproductive viability? What are we to make of the likely health effects of administrative segregation, constrained exercise, or widespread communicable illnesses? Rutgers University-Camden will host a pre-read workshop on theoretical and applied questions like these in April 2019, with the essays from this workshop to be considered for a peer-reviewed, special issue of Public Affairs Quarterly. The Editor of Public Affairs Quarterly, David Boonin, will attend the workshop and will be available to give feedback on all of the papers.

We welcome abstracts of up to 1,000 words for the pre-read workshop. The abstracts should be prepared for anonymous review and should be in either Microsoft Word or PDF format. We especially welcome submissions from members of underrepresented populations within philosophy.  Send abstracts to

This workshop is sponsored by funds from the Henry Rutgers Term Chair for Ethics, Health, and Society. Food and lodging will be paid for, and domestic travel expenses will be reimbursed. (International travelers will be reimbursed up to a domestic equivalent.)

Abstracts are due November 3, 2018. Decisions will be made by the beginning of December 2018. Full papers of between 4,000 and 10,000 words will be due February 1, 2019, and the workshop will be held at Rutgers University-Camden on April 5, 2019.

Questions can be directed to Craig Agule ( or Eric Chwang (

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