Excusing responsibility for the inevitable

Neil Levy*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

It is by now well established that the fact that an action or a consequence was inevitable does not excuse the agent from responsibility for it, so long as the counterfactual intervention which ensures that the act will take place is not actualized. However, in this paper I demonstrate that there is one exception to this principle: when the agent is aware of the counterfactual intervener and the role she would play in some alternative scenario, she might be excused, despite the fact that in the actual scenario she acts, as we say, of her own free will. I illustrate this contention by way of a critique of Fischer and Ravizza's well-known account of responsibility for consequences.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)43-52
Number of pages10
JournalPhilosophical Studies
Volume111
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes

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