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Frontiers of Philosophy in China

Front. Philos. China    2018, Vol. 13 Issue (3) : 420-429     https://doi.org/10.3868/s030-007-018-0032-0
Orginal Article |
Situationism and Moral Responsibility
ZHANG Ke()
Department of Philosophy, The University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ85721, USA
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Abstract

In section 1, I will describe how moral responsibility requires normative competence. In section 2, I will introduce an influential social psychology experiment and consider one of its philosophical interpretations, situationism. In section 3, I will discuss the possession response in defense of normative competence. This is an approach to save normative competence via possession, and in turn the concept of the morally responsible agent, by relinquishing the need for exercising normative competence. After discussing its pros and cons, section 4 will focus on the exercise response, which emphasizes each singular exercise of normative competence. Given these two responses, I will argue that we are faced with a dilemma. If we admit that the concept of the morally responsible agent is grounded in the mere possession of normative competence, then the concept becomes useless in a practical sense, forcing us to embrace a concept that is tied to the exercise of normative competence. If we admit that the morally responsible agent is grounded in only the exercise of normative competence, the concept of the morally responsible agent no longer aligns with common sense.

Keywords situationism      moral responsibility      normative competence      possession response      exercise response     
Issue Date: 25 September 2018
 Cite this article:   
ZHANG Ke. Situationism and Moral Responsibility[J]. Front. Philos. China, 2018, 13(3): 420-429.
 URL:  
http://journal.hep.com.cn/fpc/EN/10.3868/s030-007-018-0032-0
http://journal.hep.com.cn/fpc/EN/Y2018/V13/I3/420
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