Moral or Legal Responsibility

A number of factors can undermine leadership control. If a person`s behavior is provoked by hypnosis, brainwashing, or truly irresistible impulses, then that person may not be morally responsible for his behavior because he or she does not lead it thoughtfully in the manner required for accountability (Fischer & Ravizza 1998:35). Specifically, an officer is unlikely to be responsible in the above circumstances because he or she “does not respond to the reasons – his or her behaviour would be the same, regardless of why” (1998: 37). Thus, Fischer and Ravizza characterize the possession of leadership control as dependent (in part) on responsiveness to reasons. In particular, leadership control depends on whether the psychological mechanism that influences an agent`s behavior responds to the reasons. (Lead control also requires an agent to have the mechanism on which it acts. According to Fischer and Ravizza, this requires making historical conditions responsible; See §3.3.3.) In “Two Faces of Responsibility” (1996 [2004]), Gary Watson responds to Wolf. Watson agrees with Wolf that some approaches to responsibility—that is, views on self-disclosure (a term Watson borrowed from Benson in 1987)—focus narrowly on whether the behavior is attributable to an agent. Watson denies, however, that these attributions are only a superficial form of accountability assessment. Indeed, behaviour attributable to an agent – for example, in the sense that it comes from his or her evaluation system – often reveals something interpersonal and morally significant about the agent`s “fundamental direction of evaluation” (Watson 1996 [2004: 271]). Therefore, attributions of responsibility in this sense of responsibility as attribution are “at the heart of ethical life and ethical review” (Watson 1996 [2004: 263]). These considerations can lead to a number of skepticisms about moral responsibility (and especially blame). First, we could advocate a form of epistemic skepticism on the grounds that we rarely have a sense of whether a malefactor was acractic at an appropriate time in the etiology of a particular action – that is, was a conscious culprit (Rosen 2004).

Alternatively or in addition, one could advocate a more substantial form of skepticism, because so many normal criminals do not exhibit the kind of reprehensible know-how supposedly required to be held accountable. In other words, perhaps many, many wrongdoers do not know that they are wrongdoers, and their ignorance in this regard is not their fault because it does not stem from a reasonable prior instance of wrongdoing. In this case, many, many ordinary criminals cannot be morally responsible for their behavior. (For skeptical suggestions along these lines, see M. Zimmerman 1997 and Levy 2011.) Various objections have been raised to P. F. Strawson`s general theoretical approach to moral responsibility, his assumptions about human psychology and sociality, and his arguments for reconciling determinism and responsibility. Judging whether a person is morally responsible for their behavior, and holding others and ourselves accountable for the actions and consequences of actions, is a fundamental and familiar part of our moral practices and interpersonal relationships. A business owner or manager has several responsibilities, including legal ones, such as paying taxes, as well as moral responsibility. Moral responsibilities can be individual, meaning that each person in the company is responsible for doing the right thing, or collective responsibilities that affect all employees.

Corporate culture often dictates the importance of moral responsibility in the organization. As an owner or manager, you set the tone for moral expectations through your actions and clearly state the company`s position on various issues. We are not legally bound to comply with moral obligations, but we are legally bound to comply with legal obligations. If the possession of free will requires the ability to act differently than one actually does, then it is quite easy to understand why free will has often been considered incompatible with causal determinism. One way to resolve this incompatibilistic concern is to focus on how the execution of a particular action should depend on an agent if he has the kind of free will required for moral responsibility. As indicated by the argument of influential consequence (Ginet 1966; van Inwagen 1983: 55-105; Wiggins, 1973), the truth of determinism seems to mean that an agent`s actions are not his fault, since they are the inevitable consequences of things over which the agent has no control. Here is an informal summary of this argument from Peter van Inwagen`s important book, An Essay on Free Will (1983): Several objections have been raised to attributionism. Some argue that attributionists are wrong to reject the conditions of liability mentioned in the last paragraph (Levy 2005, 2011; Shoemaker, 2011, 2015a; Watson, 2011). It has also been argued that attributionist guilt is too close to a simple negative assessment (Levy, 2005; Wallace, 1996: 80-1; Watson, 2002). In addition, Scanlon (2008) has been criticized for not considering negative emotions such as resentment as central to the guilt phenomenon (Wallace 2011, Wolf 2011; a similar criticism would apply to Sher 2006a). Frances Grodzinsky et al. examined artificial systems that could be modeled as finite state machines.

They postulated that if the machine had a fixed state transition table, it could not be morally responsible. If the machine could modify its table, the designer of the machine always retained some moral responsibility. [54] According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, it is the employer`s responsibility to create a safe and healthy workplace. Employers must take steps to ensure that workers have an environment free from unnecessary hazards. Examples include providing tools and equipment with all necessary protective devices and training employees in the correct use of these items. The employer must also prevent exposure to materials that could cause illness or injury. In recent years, experimental philosophy has sought to find out whether people`s untaught intuitions about determinism and moral responsibility are compatible or incompatible. [45] Some experimental work includes intercultural studies. [46] However, the debate over whether humans have inherently compatible or incompatibilistic intuitions has not overwhelmingly favored one point of view or the other and has not found evidence for both. For example, when people are confronted with abstract cases that ask whether a person could be morally responsible for an immoral act if they could not have done it differently, people tend to say no or give incompatible answers. When people are confronted with a certain immoral act committed by a particular person, they tend to say that that person is morally responsible for their actions, even if they were determined (i.e. people also give sympathetic answers).

[47] However, this compatibilist image is seriously questionable. First, it might be accepted that the ability to act as one pleases is valuable and perhaps related to the type of freedom at stake in the free will debate, but it does not follow that this is all that the possession of free will represents. A person who has certain desires as a result of indoctrination, brainwashing, or psychopathology may act as they please, but their free will and moral responsibility can always be questioned. (For more information on the relevance of such factors, see §3.2 and §3.3.3.) Specifically, conditional analysis is open to the following type of counterexample. It may be true that an officer performing Act A would have omitted A if he had chosen to do so, but it may also be true that the officer in question suffers from an overwhelming compulsion to perform Act A. Conditional analysis suggests that the agent in question retains the ability to do something other than A, but given his compulsion, it seems clear that he does not have this ability (Broad 1934, Chisholm 1964, Lehrer 1968, van Inwagen 1983). In general, incompatibilists are likely to be dissatisfied with conditional analysis because it does not account for the ability that agents may have, here and now, to perform or refrain from taking an action while correcting everything about the here and now and the past. The question is whether the Frankfurt example really shows that Jones is morally responsible, when he could not have done it otherwise. On the one hand, it may not be clear that Jones really could not have done otherwise: while he led the action alone, there was the alternative that he performed the action because of an intervention by Black and not alone. Moreover, although Jones did not, he may have given Black a hint that he would not perform the action in question. Alternatively, an objection could be made by asking how Black can be sure whether or not Jones would perform the action alone. There seems to be a dilemma here.

Perhaps determinism appears in the example universe, and Black sees a sign indicating the presence of factors that causally ensure that Jones behaves in a certain way. But in this case, incompatibilists are unlikely to admit that Jones is morally responsible if they think moral responsibility is incompatible with determinism. On the other hand, determinism in the example universe may not be true, but it is not clear that example excludes alternatives for Jones: if Jones` behavior is not causally determined, then perhaps he can do something else.


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