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The causal and the moral

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dc.contributor.advisor Stephen Yablo. en_US
dc.contributor.author Sartorio, Ana Carolina, 1972- en_US
dc.contributor.other Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Linguistics and Philosophy. en_US
dc.date.accessioned 2009-01-23T16:41:23Z
dc.date.available 2009-01-23T16:41:23Z
dc.date.copyright 2003 en_US
dc.date.issued 2003 en_US
dc.identifier.uri http://dspace.mit.edu/handle/1721.1/17580 en_US
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/1721.1/17580
dc.description Thesis (Ph. D.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Linguistics and Philosophy, 2003. en_US
dc.description Includes bibliographical references (p. 91-92). en_US
dc.description.abstract My dissertation is about the following two questions: The causal question: When is something a cause of something else? The moral question: When is someone morally responsible for something? I examine the way in which these questions overlap. I argue that, in some important respects, the relation between the causal and the moral question is tighter than people have taken it to be, but, in other important respects, it is looser than people have taken it to be. The dissertation consists of three chapters. Each of the chapters is a self-contained paper, but the three papers are interconnected in various ways. Chapters 1 and 2 are concerned with how the causal question and the moral question intersect, and Chapter 3 is concerned with how they come apart. In Chapter 1, I lay out a view of causation according to which causing is a particular way of making a difference. I show that an advantage of this view is that it carves up a concept of cause that is particularly well suited for the work causation does in moral theory. In Chapter 2, I argue that a moral asymmetry that exists between actions and omissions has a causal basis. I argue that the conditions under which actions and omissions make us morally responsible are different, and that this is so because the causal powers of actions and omissions are different. In Chapter 3, I argue against the received view about the relation between causation and moral responsibility, according to which being responsible for something requires causing it. I offer an alternative picture according to which causation is a necessary condition for the transmission of responsibility, although not for the existence of responsibility itself. en_US
dc.description.statementofresponsibility by Ana Carolina Sartorio. en_US
dc.format.extent 92 p. en_US
dc.language.iso eng en_US
dc.publisher Massachusetts Institute of Technology en_US
dc.rights M.I.T. theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from this source for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without written permission. See provided URL for inquiries about permission. en_US
dc.rights.uri http://dspace.mit.edu/handle/1721.1/17580 en_US
dc.rights.uri http://dspace.mit.edu/handle/1721.1/7582 en_US
dc.subject Linguistics and Philosophy. en_US
dc.title The causal and the moral en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US
dc.description.degree Ph.D. en_US
dc.contributor.department Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Linguistics and Philosophy. en_US
dc.identifier.oclc 53014589 en_US


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