SOPhiA 2019

Salzburgiense Concilium Omnibus Philosophis Analyticis

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Programm - Vortrag

Responsibility and Agency
(Angegliederter Workshop, English)


16:15--17:10 Jan-Willem Wieland: Ways to be Blameworthy
17:15--18:10 Hannah Altehenger: Self-Control, the (Deep) Self, and the Divided Mind
18:20--19:15 Sofia Bonicalzi: Rethinking Responsibility for Action
19:20--20:15 Leonhard Menges: Alternative Possibilities, Determinism, and the Right Level of Description


Jan Willem Wieland (Amsterdam): Ways to be Blameworthy
Recently, Elinor Mason has argued that there are different ways to be blameworthy. It is one thing to eat meat (for example) while knowing that one's conduct is problematic, and another to perform the same conduct though without seeing this. In this talk, I will further defend, specify and illustrate Mason's claim that "ordinary" blameworthiness is quite different from "detached" blameworthiness.

Hannah Altehenger (Bielefeld): Self-Control, the (Deep) Self, and the Divided Mind
Is there any interesting relationship between self-control and the self? Some theorists have claimed that there is. Edmund Henden (2008), for instance, contends that in exercising self-control,"one ensures that one's behavior derives from one self" rather than from a motive "from which one wants to dissociate oneself". And, at first glance at least, there seems to be some truth to this claim: while we often appear to feel alienated from the "target states" of self-control, such as the craving for another cigarette, the urge to yell at someone, or the impulse to flee a certain situation, cases in which we feel alienated from the states in support of which we exercise self-control are much harder to come up with. Still, on closer inspection, the relationship between self-control and the self turns out to be more complex than it may initially seem. As I argue, there is such a thing as exercising self-control against one's self and even without one's self. I conclude that, although there is a close relationship between self-control and the self, this relationship is far from perfect.

Sofia Bonicalzi (Munich): Rethinking Responsibility for Action
The aim of the talk is to frame a consistent two-tier account of moral responsibility which combines the insights, while avoiding the drawbacks, of both internalist and externalist actual-sequence compatibilist views on responsibility. In particular, I defend the claim that a self-disclosure view, adequately supported by an account of normative competence, could give reason of many of our usages of the concept of moral responsibility. First, drawing on Watsons's attributability view, I claim that one must distinguish between cases in which the action reveals something morally relevant about the agent, and cases where it does not. The leading intuition is thus that, in cases of moral responsibility, the agent's motivational structure is explanatory relevant with respect to the action, in a way that makes the agent able to identify with it. However, differently from classic internalist real-self views, identification will not concern individual mental states: recognising the action as a final step in the deliberative process she goes through, the agent identifies with the result of the global decision-making process. In this sense, responsible agency will be based on the encompassing capacity to reflect upon intentional actions as unified phenomena, and on the exercise of a broad metacognitive regulation of one's own behaviour. In the second part of the talk, I will discuss how externalist integrations, in terms of rational control, are needed in order to provide a functioning framework, able to deal with cases of irrationality or extreme distance from moral standards. For the condition of normative control to be satisfied, the agent must be able to accept intersubjectively recognised reasons for action as compelling motives.

Leonhard Menges (Salzburg): Alternative Possibilities, Determinism, and the Right Level of Description
Many authors argue that claims about determinism and free will are situated on different levels of description and that determinism on one level does not rule out free will on another. This paper focuses on Christian List's version of this basic idea. It will be argued for the negative thesis that List's account does not rule out the most plausible version of incomptibilism about free will and determinism and, more constructively, that a level-based approach to free will has better chances to meet skeptical challenges if it is guided by reasoning on the moral level -- a level that has not been seriously considered so far by proponents of this approach.

Organisation: Leonhard Menges (Salzburg)

Chair: Leonhard Menges
Zeit: 16:15-20:00, 19. September 2019 (Donnerstag)
Ort: SR 1.005

Hannah Altehenger
(Bielefeld University, Deutschland)

Hannah Altehenger is Wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiterin (Postdoc) at Universität Bielefeld. She mainly works on moral psychology and theory of action and she is also interested in metaethics, normative ethics, and the philosophy of mind.

Sofia Bonicalzi
(LMU Munich, Deutschland)

Sofia Bonicalzi is a postdoctoral researcher associated with the Chair of Philosophy of Mind, at the LMU. She specialised in philosophy of mind/action, philosophy of cognitive neuroscience, and moral psychology. Her current research interests focus on the philosophy and neuroscience of volition and action. Before joining the LMU, she has been a postdoctoral researcher at the Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, UCL (Action and Body Group) and at the School of Advanced Study (UoL), working on theoretical aspects of volition, intentions, and responsibility, and carrying out experimental work on the cognitive neuroscience of actions and intentions. During her postdoctoral experience, she has acquired technical skills in experimental design and techniques, and data analysis. In collaboration with other philosophers, psychologists, and neuroscientists, she is involved in a project grant (SSNAP, Duke University) aimed to conduct theoretical and experimental research on causation, responsibility and counterfactual thinking. She holds a Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Pavia and she has been a visiting Ph.D. candidate at the Sage School of Philosophy, at Cornell University.

Leonhard Menges
(University of Salzburg, Austria)

Leonhard Menges is Assistant Professor of Practical Philosophy at the University of Salzburg where he teaches ethics, social, and political philosophy. In his research he focuses on questions surrounding blame and responsibility and on questions surrounding the right to privacy.

Jan-Willem Wieland
(University of Amsterdam, Netherlands)

Jan Willem Wieland is Assistant Professor at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, where he teaches courses in ethics and argumentation. His research focuses on issues in normative ethics and moral responsibility. He has edited a book on the epistemic condition of moral responsibility, and his latest work concerns collective actions problems.

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