• 00:01    |    
    Initial credits
  • 00:06    |    
    Introduction by Richard Kamber
  • 00:39    |    
    Can One Be Held Morally Responsible for Unintentional Lapses?
    • Unintentional lapses in moral obligations
    • Principle one: Quote from An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding, David Hume
    • Principle two: Actions according to Donald Davidson
    • Principle three: Principle of Alternative Possibilities (PAP)
    • Frankfurt-style cases
    • Principle four: Principle of Possible Action (PPA)
    • Principle five: Susan Wolf's thoughts on the PAP
    • The fallacy of a crime without a motive in André Gide, n
    • Cases on moral accountability
      • Lapse of memory
      • Lapse of attention
      • Lapse in ingenuity
    • Armchair philosophy versus experimental philosophy
    • Experimental results of survey
    • Significance and conclusions of the survey
  • 47:06    |    
    Questions and comments segment
    • Can the differences in the experimental results be attributed to the fact that it's difficult to be in the other persons place?
    • Should you differentiate the moral responsibility of an act from the moral responsibility of the consequence?
    • Although some acts are not consciously intended can they be uncounsciously so? Is there such a thing as free will?
    • Where does neglicence fall into consideration?
  • 59:14    |    
    Final credits

Can One Be Held Morally Responsible for Unintentional Lapses?

New Media  | 25 de septiembre de 2012  | Vistas: 116

Inspired by his readings of Saint Augustine, Richard Kamber discusses whether individuals can be held accountable for failing to fulfill moral obligations due to unintentional lapses in memory, attention, or ingenuity. He defines these lapses as involuntary faults that must be committed without intention, without option to act otherwise, and never as a result of negligence, imprudence, or previous intended acts.

Kamber presents principles from numerous thinkers, whose composite philosophical perspectives suggest that individuals cannot be held responsible for these errors. David Hume states that men cannot be blamed for unintentional actions, while Donald Davidson affirms that for something to be considered an action, it must be intentional. Harry Frankfurt introduces the Principle of Alternate Possibilities, which holds that, if a person could not have done otherwise, he/she is not morally responsible. Peter van Inwagen, John Martin Fischer, and Mark Ravizza agree that this principle doesn’t hold in all cases, but does hold in certain subsets of cases.

Through a method of experimental philosophy, Kamber seeks to disprove this consensus. By surveying people’s intuitions on cases of moral accountability, he shows that a significant percentage agrees that individuals are at least somewhat responsible. Kamber concludes that none of the past philosophical principles succeed in tracking people’s intuitions regarding cases of this kind.


Richard Kamber is founding member of the Advisory Board of the…