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Responsibility and Control: A Theory of Moral Responsibility (Cambridge Studies in Philosophy and Law) [Paperback]

By John Martin Fischer (Author), Mark Ravizza (Author) & Gerald Postema (Editor)
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Item description for Responsibility and Control: A Theory of Moral Responsibility (Cambridge Studies in Philosophy and Law) by John Martin Fischer, Mark Ravizza & Gerald Postema...

This book provides a comprehensive, systematic theory of moral responsibility. The authors explore the conditions under which individuals are morally responsible for actions, omissions, consequences, and emotions. The leading idea in the book is that moral responsibility is based on "guidance control." This control has two components: the mechanism that issues in the relevant behavior must be the agent's own mechanism, and it must be appropriately responsive to reasons. The book develops an account of both components. The authors go on to offer a sustained defense of the thesis that moral responsibility is compatible with causal determinism. This major study will interest moral philosophers, legal theorists, and those in religious studies concerned with the issue of moral responsibility.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Cambridge University Press
Pages   288
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.01" Width: 6" Height: 0.64"
Weight:   0.86 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Mar 20, 2008
Publisher   Cambridge University Press
Edition  Revised  
ISBN  0521775795  
ISBN13  9780521775793  

Availability  0 units.

More About John Martin Fischer, Mark Ravizza & Gerald Postema

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! John Martin Fischer is Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at the University of California, Riverside, where he is a holder of a UC President's Chair. He is the author of The Metaphysics of Free Will: An Essay on Control (Blackwell 1994); Responsibility and Control: A Theory of Moral Responsibility (with Mark Ravizza, 1998); and My Way: Essays on Moral Responsibility (2006). He has written extensively on free will, moral responsibility, the metaphysics of death, ethics, and the philosophy of religion.

Robert Kane is University Distinguished Teaching Professor at the The University of Texas at Austin. He is the author of Free Will and Values (1985), Through the Moral Maze (1994), The Significance of Free Will (1996), A Contemporary Introduction to Free Will (2005) and editor of The Oxford Handbook of Free Will (2002) and a collection of readings, Free Will (Blackwell, 2002). He is a member of the Academy of Distinguished Teachers at the University of Texas at Austin.

Derk Pereboom is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Vermont, where he has been since 1985. He will join the Sage School of Philosophy at Cornell University in 2007. His book, Living Without Free Will (Cambridge University Press) appeared in 2001, and he has published articles on free will, philosophy of mind, history of modern philosophy, and philosophy of religion.

Manuel Vargas is Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of San Francisco. He has published articles on a range of topics, including free will and moral responsibility, practical reason, evil, and Latin American philosophy.

John Martin Fischer currently resides in Riverside, in the state of California. John Martin Fischer was born in 1952 and has an academic affiliation as follows - University of California, Riverside University of California Universit.

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Reviews - What do customers think about Responsibility and Control: A Theory of Moral Responsibility (Cambridge Studies in Philosophy and Law)?

A Nice Philosophical Explanation  Apr 5, 2002
Fischer and Ravizza's (F&R) book, Responsibility and Control, provides the most recent defense of compatibilism (according to the timing of this review). They are not presenting any "knock-down arguments" for their view. Rather, they are offering philosophical explanation (in Nozick's sense) as to how to provide a working theory of moral responsibility with the truth of causal determinism. They do not contend the truth or falsity of causal determinism; they simply believe that whatever is the truth of the matter, it is irrelevant given their account of moral responsibility.

F&R provide a well defended account of what they call "guidance control." It is strongly built off of the earlier work of Harry Frankfurt's article, "Alternate Possibilities and Moral Responsibility." Using this, they attempt to build an account that solves clear cases about actions, consequences, and omissions in a clear symmetical way. In doing so, they believe the indirect and direct challenges to the compatibility thesis should be rejected.

After doing so, they attempt to look at "mesh theories" (e.g. Frankfurt and Watson) which look at the time-splice properties of an agent, and F&R argue for a contrasting (geniune) historical approach. In doing so, they use Galen Strawson's work to help answer particular problems. Following in their last chapter, they summarize all of their main points again, and look at Robert Adam's argument (in the appendix) concerning emotions and moral responsibility.

The extremely nice features of this book are that they argue for their position very clearly. One should have little trouble following their arguments, examples, and what they intend on doing. They tell you what they plan on doing, how they will do it, and then go right into it. Following, they summarize it again to make everything from that chapter and the preceeding chapters come together.

Another nice feature of this book is that it is exceptionally well argued. Though I found some disagreements along the way, naturally expected of anyone, I thought they provided a robust account that at least does what they intended: the provide an account of freedom that gives us a working theory which can be reworked, but meets the incompatibilist challenges, though honestly not enough perhaps to move everyone toward compatibilism (i.e. this is a philosophical explanation, not knock-down argument).

Because of these nice features and the good content, I highly recommend this book.


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