Robert Pál-Wallin "Against Alethic Views of Moral Responsibility"

19 May 2022 13:15 to 15:00 Seminar

Robert Pál-Wallin (LU) will present his research at the Higher Semina in practical philosophy.

It will be a so-called close reading seminar and participants are therefore expected to carefully read his paper in advance. The paper will be shared in due time.


Against Alethic Views of Moral Responsibility

Alethic views of moral responsibility state that an agent A is morally responsible for j if and only if it is fitting to have some negative or positive reactive emotion vis-à-vis A on account of j. Proponents of Alethic views subsequently argue that since all emotions are at least partly constituted by mental states with a mind-to-world direction of fit, the fittingness of the relevant reactive emotions will be a function of the accuracy of their embedded representational content. For example, suppose that resentment towards A involves the representational content R which is the conjunction of three further thoughts x, y and z. The Alethic view of moral responsibility then yields the verdict that insofar as x, y and z are all true of A and A’s j-ing, resentment towards A is fitting which entails that A is morally responsible for j-ing. Although I agree with advocates of the Alethic view that we should try to understand moral responsibility in terms of fitting emotions, I will in this paper argue that the way in which they try to do it – by appealing to representational accuracy – is misguided. Instead, I will propose an understanding of moral responsibility in terms of fitting emotions which takes seriously the idea that emotions are felt attitudinal engagements with distinct profiles.

About the event:

19 May 2022 13:15 to 15:00



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