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Donnerstag, 23.11.2023


Strawsonian Moral Responsibility, Response-dependence, and the Possibility of Global Error

18:30 - 20:00 Uhr
Katholisch-Theologische Fakultät, HS I, EG, Karl-Rahner-Platz 3, 6020 Innsbruck

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Patrick Todd

Patrick Todd earned his PhD in Philosophy at the University of California-Riverside (USA) in 2011 and is currently Senior Research Fellow at the University of Lund (Sweden). Major publications: The Open Future: Why Future Contingents are all False (Oxford University Press, 2021); Freedom, Fatalism, and Foreknowledge (edited and introduced with John Martin Fischer, Oxford University Press 2015).

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Could it somehow turn out that nothing anyone has ever laughed at has really been funny? Arguably not. But why? One natural thought appeals to the idea that “funniness” is a so-called “response-dependent property”. Roughly, the funny is nothing other than what we are inclined to laugh at in certain appropriate conditions. Assuming that we are at least sometimes in “appropriate” conditions, it will follow that, given that we laugh at certain things, at least some of those things are funny. Some philosophers have attempted to address the famous problems of free will and (especially) moral responsibility in an analogous manner. If no one has free will, then perhaps no one is really morally responsible, i.e. blameworthy. But perhaps is blameworthy is like is funny -- that is, perhaps the blameworthy is nothing other than what we are inclined to blame in certain appropriate conditions. In this talk, I show how this move -- interesting as it is -- does not really undercut the threat posed by free will and moral responsibility skepticism.


Institut für Christliche Philosophie
ICPR - Innsbruck Center for Philosophy of Religion
Doktoratskolleg Religionsphilosophie