Questions tagged [moral-agency]

A moral agent is something that is culpable for the outcome of actions taken. What this implies can be radically different depending upon the school of thought, metaphysical relationship held, as well as other factors.

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Have philosophers defended the idea 'There is nothing inherently wrong with slavery', and if so, how so? [closed]

People always talk about slavery, such as the trans-Atlantic slave trade, as being a bad thing, this is cited in countless textbooks for teenagers, as well as several pop-culture documentaries, etc. (...
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Is the foundation of morality subjectively survival and happiness, and why or why not?

Many rational minds have come to attribute the foundation of morality to humankind's survival and happiness. I have been discussing with friends about why that 'humankind survival and happiness' must ...
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Are there philosophically serious moral arguments against eugenics?

First, I'm sure there are, but I have yet to read much in this area. It seems that most moral arguments are or quickly become historical arguments about violent or judicial racism, which may then ...
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Boundary case on the morality of torture [closed]

Most everyone would agree that "cold-blooded" torture is morally wrong. We agree so much so that many assume it's objectively wrong. That being said, imagine this thought experiment: A ...
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Philosophy and ontology of tools (instruments), their design and creation (as part of philosophy of action and agency)? Meta-actions?

I am designing self-evolving and self-learning cognitive architecture (that is how the Artificial General intelligence is being implemented) with the seed intelligence approach, that is why I am using ...
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What is the morality of a pregnant woman drinking alcohol? [closed]

How do we trade-off the rights of the individual woman to drink, against the right of a person to be born without foetal (fetal) alcohol syndrome?
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Is it ethical to force someone to evacuate from their home?

Suppose a bushfire (wildfire) is approaching someone's home. They have a strong connection to their home but are unable to defend it. They would be utterly devastated if it burnt down. Is it ethical ...
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Can a moral code develop from one person's integrity?

Just for a moment picture, not all the evil and bad in the world, but the good. If you think about it and 'see' in your mind's eye all of the normal, everyday families in any given neighborhood who ...
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What is the difference between free will and moral agency?

I've heard a lot of people get confused about the differences between free agency, free will, and moral agency. What really is the difference?
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Intellectual History of Idea in A Geneaology of Morals Essay One

In Nietzsche's first essay in A Geneaology of Morals, he suggests that use of language in which subjects and verbs are distinguished may influence or at least correspond to conceptual distinctions in ...
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How does atheism answer the problem of goodness? [closed]

If God does not exist how do we explain all the good in the world? All the charities that operate of the goodwill of the public? All the doctors working in Somalia for doctors without borders? If we ...
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How can animals be objects of ethics without being subjects as well?

Most people seem to agree that animals cannot act immorally, even when they inflict suffering. They are thus completely excluded from being subjects of any kind of ethical framework. At the same time,...
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How do compatibilists understand “responsible”?

In Scott Christensen's book "What about free will?" on page 119 is "Pharaoh is held responsible for his actions". The reason given for God attributing culpability is "You are exalting yourself...". ...
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Can my attitude kill you? Part 2

This question follows on (sort off): Can my attitude kill you? Taking attitude to mean: The unique medley of ideas that makes the person. Suppose I'm a doubly depressed neurotic pessimist. Who can ...
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Was there a philosophical underpinning that enabled the holocaust?

I curious as to know what sort of philosophy movement was used as an apologist to enable the Holocaust, the Holocaust did not happen in the third-world. It was not aimed or done by uneducated people. ...
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How is free-will formally defined as distinct from determinism, randomness and determinism-randomness hybrid to support moral responsibility?

Usually free-will is assumed by most faith traditions as a prerequisite for moral responsiblity in order to justify eternal punishment. The argument goes as "you are truly responsible for your immoral ...
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Is it unfair to eternally punish people in hell if determinism is true?

If determinism happens to be true, then people just do what the laws of Physics governing the chemical interactions of neurons in their brains make them do. In such a scenario, wouldn't it be unfair ...
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Is it ethically wrong to refuse a suffering person the right to assisted suicide? [closed]

In South Africa, assisted suicide if illegal irrespective of circumstances. Let's say you are a judge of a high court and the following case comes before you: A terminally ill patient suffers from ...
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Does Frankfurt dissociate free will and moral responsibility?

To the extent that I understand him, Frankfurt says that we choose "out of our free will" when that first-order desire becomes effective which corresponds to the second-order volition (when I wish X ...
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The moral Vs the ethical [duplicate]

Are there any circumstances in which the terms 'moral' and 'ethical' can be used interchangeably?
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Which Philosopher said one was obligated to improve all that one could influence?

I recall reading about this in Highschool, but I can't figure out who it was. The premise was that every man has agency, and they are obligated to use that agency to change their environment for the ...
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How is agency involved in parliamentary democracy?

How is agency involved in parliamentary democracy? So it seems quite trivial that my vote won't, or never will, make a difference to the result. Does that mean that my agency has no role in the ...
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What is the difference between responsibility and commitment?

I was recently looking at philosophy of responsibility, and something interesting which I had not thought about before, was that the way we use "responsibility" includes things not necessarily caused ...
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How can free will be reconciled with materialism? [closed]

I know that my mind is a network of neurons, where some personality resides, with emotional responses, and motivation. I know that love and friendship and fear and many other phenomena stem from ...
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Can supporting intrinsically bad actions be justified considering their consequences?

Suppose Bob has immaculate knowledge of the future... Bob knows if he graciously gives John $100, John will buy a gun and rob a bank so he can buy heroin. Bob also knows that after John robs the ...
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Metaphysically, what does it mean to “make a decision”?

In the freewill debate, a difference is made between metaphysical/libertarian free will, i.e. where an agent is free to choose among many possible outcomes, and the eventual outcome is caused by the ...
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Faith in the attribution of agency

Reason is the capacity for consciously making sense of things, applying logic, for establishing and verifying facts, and changing or justifying practices, institutions, and beliefs based on new or ...