The importance of awareness

Neil Levy*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


A number of philosophers have recently argued that agents need not be conscious of the reasons for which they act or the moral significance of their actions in order to be morally responsible for them. In this paper, I identify a kind of awareness that, I claim, agents must have in order to be responsible for their actions. I argue that conscious information processing differs from unconscious in a manner that makes the following two claims true: (1) an agent's values ought to be identified with attitudes of which she is conscious, because having a value entails having a set of dispositions produced by conscious attitudes alone, and (2) only actions settled upon by conscious deliberation are deeply attributable to agents, because only such actions express the agent's evaluative stance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)211-229
Number of pages19
JournalAustralasian Journal of Philosophy
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2013
Externally publishedYes


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