In this paper it is argued that we can have defensible attributions of responsibility without first answering the question whether determinism and free will are compatible. The key to such a defense is a focus on the fact that most actions for which we hold one another responsible are quite ordinary—trespassing traffic regulations, tardiness, or breaking a promise. As we will show, unlike actions that problematize our moral competence—e.g. akratic and ‘moral monster’-like ones—ordinary ‘wrong’ actions often disclose this competence. Hence, no counterfactual assumption is needed to establish that some of us are sometimes responsible for some of the actions we perform.

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European Journal of Analytic Philosophy
Erasmus School of Philosophy

Sie, M.M.S.K. (2005). Ordinary Wrongdoing and Responsibility Worth Wanting. European Journal of Analytic Philosophy, 2(1), 67–82. Retrieved from