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On Wednesday, January 9 2019, I will be giving a talk at the American Philosophical Association, Eastern Division. If you’re in the area and interested in Experimental Philosophy, free will, alternative possibilities, or moral responsibility, come by.

In this talk, I present three original, pre-registered experiments that test the relevance of alternative possibilities for the attribution of moral responsibility. Many philosophers have argued that alternative possibilities are required for an agent’s moral responsibility for the consequences of omitting an action. In contrast, it is argued that alternative possibilities are not required for moral responsibility for the consequences of performing an action. Thus, while an agent can be morally responsible for an action she could not have avoided, an agent is never morally responsible for omitting an action she could not have performed. Call this the Action/Omission Asymmetry Thesis. In this talk, I discuss various strategies to challenge the Action/Omission Asymmetry Thesis. I identify the predictions those strategies make about the conditions under which an agent will be held morally responsible for an unavoidable action or omission. These predictions are subsequently tested in three experiments to evaluate their respective plausibility. I demonstrate that whether there is an Action/Omission Asymmetry strongly depends, first, on the type of moral judgment we consider relevant for the Action/Omission Asymmetry Thesis, and, second, the scale we use to test the folk’s intuitions. I further address the methodological problems researchers face when using philosophical thought experiments as vignettes in experimental studies.

  Posts

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April 20th, 2021

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March 12th, 2021

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January 19th, 2021

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February 18th, 2020

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February 18th, 2020

Pre-print available: Basic and derivative moral responsibility: An overlooked distinction in experimental philosophy

Abstract Moral philosophers draw an important distinction between two kinds of moral responsibility. An agent can be directly morally responsible, […]

November 13th, 2019

I’ll be giving a talk in Cologne, 5 – 7 December 2019

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November 13th, 2019

I’ll be giving a talk in Zurich, 14 – 16 November 2019

If you’re around Zurich, please join the amazing workshop that Hans-Joachim Glock, Elia Haemmerli, and Kevin Reuter have put together. The topic […]

March 18th, 2019

New Publication

I am excited to announce that my paper The Relevance of Alternative Possibilities for Moral Responsibility is about to be […]

January 22nd, 2019

My first book awaits your order!