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Against Moral Responsibility$
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Bruce N. Waller

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780262016599

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: August 2013

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262016599.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM MIT PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.mitpress.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright The MIT Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MITSO for personal use.date: 19 May 2022

Taking Responsibility

Taking Responsibility

(p.103) 6 Taking Responsibility
Against Moral Responsibility

Bruce N. Waller

The MIT Press

This chapter explores an argument in defense of moral responsibility; rather than trying to find responsibility in some scientifically inaccessible niche, these bold spirits take responsibility. The implication here is that one’s past does not matter; the moment one takes responsibility, the responsibility is owned by the one taking responsibility by virtue of the act of accepting and identifying with and acknowledging the responsibility as one’s own. The main argument in this chapter is thus: “I am responsible because I take responsibility.” Taking responsibility plays a prominent role in the justification of moral responsibility. There is real value in taking responsibility, but it is vital to distinguish between two types of responsibility. It is argued in this chapter that only one is worth taking, and that taken responsibility is not moral responsibility.

Keywords:   moral responsibility, taking responsibility, scientifically inaccessible niche

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