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Author ORCID Identifier
Open Access Dissertation
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Year Degree Awarded
Month Degree Awarded
Epistemology | Ethics and Political Philosophy
What epistemic conditions must one satisfy to be morally responsible for an action or attitude? A common worry is that robust epistemic requirements would have disastrous implications for our responsibility attributing practices: we would be unable to make epistemically justified responsibility attributions, or we would be licensed to disrespectfully excuse agents for their sincerely held beliefs. Those more optimistic about robust epistemic requirements inadvertently make them too demanding to explain the moral successes of ordinary agents. The present project shows how both the pessimists and optimists rely on instructively mistaken assumptions in epistemology, ethics, and action theory, and it culminates in a theoretical framework for responsibility for right action (or moral worth) from which well-motivated and unproblematic epistemic requirements fall out. A right action is morally worthy, I argue, just to the extent that it is explained by a reliable tie to the right that is secured through the influence one’s values have (perhaps unreflectively) on one’s informational access and processing. This Value-Secured Reliability framework has wide-reaching import and readily extends to a further variety of moral success: respect.
Robison, John, "The Epistemic Dimensions of Moral Responsibility and Respect" (2019). Doctoral Dissertations. 1654.