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Actual Causality$
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Joseph Y. Halpern

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780262035026

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262035026.001.0001

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Responsibility and Blame

Responsibility and Blame

Chapter:
(p.169) Chapter 6 Responsibility and Blame
Source:
Actual Causality
Author(s):

Joseph Y. Halpern

Publisher:
The MIT Press
DOI:10.7551/mitpress/9780262035026.003.0006

Up to this point in the book, causality has been treated as an all-or-nothing concept; either A is a cause of B or it is not. In this chapter, the definition is extended to take into account the degree of responsibility of A for B. For example, if someone wins an election 11--0, then each person who votes for him is less responsible for the victory than if he had won 6--5. A notion of degree of blame, which takes into account an agent's epistemic state, is then defined. Roughly speaking, the degree of blame of A for B is the expected degree of responsibility of A for B, taken over the epistemic state of an agent. The relationship between the notions of responsibility and blame and the notion of graded causation defined in Chapter 3 using the notion of normality is then examined.

Keywords:   Causality, Responsibility, Blame, Normality

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