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The problem of mental responsibility: outlines of an ethics of mind


Schmidt, Sebastian (2022). The problem of mental responsibility: outlines of an ethics of mind. Erlangen-Nürnberg: Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg.

Abstract

The dissertation is mainly concerned with the following question: How can we be responsible for our attitudes? Traditional formulations of the philosophical problem underlying this question see it as a conflict between responsibility and the absence of voluntary control. I interpret it, by contrast, as a problem about the responsibility that we have for being (ir)rational. To illuminate this responsibility, I engage in discussions about the normative status of object-given reasons for attitudes, present a novel case against pragmatism about reasons for attitudes, and propose that we can understand our responsibility for being (ir)rational by grounding the normative force of reasons for attitudes in our practice of holding each other answerable for our (ir)rationality. Properly distinguishing the direct answerability we have for our attitudes from the indirect accountability that we have for managing our attitudes allows us to see that not all kinds of responsibility presuppose control. Rather, attitudes for which we are directly answerable are within the space of reasons without always being within our control.

Abstract

The dissertation is mainly concerned with the following question: How can we be responsible for our attitudes? Traditional formulations of the philosophical problem underlying this question see it as a conflict between responsibility and the absence of voluntary control. I interpret it, by contrast, as a problem about the responsibility that we have for being (ir)rational. To illuminate this responsibility, I engage in discussions about the normative status of object-given reasons for attitudes, present a novel case against pragmatism about reasons for attitudes, and propose that we can understand our responsibility for being (ir)rational by grounding the normative force of reasons for attitudes in our practice of holding each other answerable for our (ir)rationality. Properly distinguishing the direct answerability we have for our attitudes from the indirect accountability that we have for managing our attitudes allows us to see that not all kinds of responsibility presuppose control. Rather, attitudes for which we are directly answerable are within the space of reasons without always being within our control.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Monograph
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Philosophy
Dewey Decimal Classification:100 Philosophy
Uncontrolled Keywords:Ethik, Verantwortung, Rationalität, Normativität, Vernunft
Language:English
Date:14 November 2022
Deposited On:13 Mar 2023 08:17
Last Modified:13 Mar 2023 08:17
Publisher:Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg
Additional Information:Diss. Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg
OA Status:Closed
Free access at:Official URL. An embargo period may apply.
Official URL:https://opus4.kobv.de/opus4-fau/frontdoor/index/index/docId/14976
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