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Praise and Prevention

Talbert, Matthew LU (2012) In Philosophical Explorations 15(1). p.47-61
Abstract
I argue that it is possible to prevent (and to be praiseworthy for preventing) an unwelcome outcome that had no chance of occurring. I motivate this position by constructing examples in which it makes sense to explain the non-occurrence of a certain outcome by referring to a particular agent's intentional and willing behavior, and yet the non-occurrence of the outcome in question was ensured by factors external to the agent. I conclude that even if the non-occurrence of an unwelcome outcome is ensured, the agent whose action explains this non-occurrence is praiseworthy for preventing the outcome. My examples are similar in important respects to Frankfurt-type cases. In the second half of the paper, I discuss the relationship between my... (More)
I argue that it is possible to prevent (and to be praiseworthy for preventing) an unwelcome outcome that had no chance of occurring. I motivate this position by constructing examples in which it makes sense to explain the non-occurrence of a certain outcome by referring to a particular agent's intentional and willing behavior, and yet the non-occurrence of the outcome in question was ensured by factors external to the agent. I conclude that even if the non-occurrence of an unwelcome outcome is ensured, the agent whose action explains this non-occurrence is praiseworthy for preventing the outcome. My examples are similar in important respects to Frankfurt-type cases. In the second half of the paper, I discuss the relationship between my examples and Frankfurt-type cases involving both actions and omissions. I conclude that while I may be responsible for the consequences of an action even if those consequences are unavoidable, this is not necessarily so for the consequences of omissions. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
in
Philosophical Explorations
volume
15
issue
1
pages
47 - 61
publisher
Taylor & Francis
external identifiers
  • scopus:84858192005
ISSN
1386-9795
language
English
LU publication?
no
id
508ecb52-fff1-4c07-9024-9ceca0418cc4
date added to LUP
2019-05-30 17:56:43
date last changed
2020-01-13 01:56:44
@article{508ecb52-fff1-4c07-9024-9ceca0418cc4,
  abstract     = {I argue that it is possible to prevent (and to be praiseworthy for preventing) an unwelcome outcome that had no chance of occurring. I motivate this position by constructing examples in which it makes sense to explain the non-occurrence of a certain outcome by referring to a particular agent's intentional and willing behavior, and yet the non-occurrence of the outcome in question was ensured by factors external to the agent. I conclude that even if the non-occurrence of an unwelcome outcome is ensured, the agent whose action explains this non-occurrence is praiseworthy for preventing the outcome. My examples are similar in important respects to Frankfurt-type cases. In the second half of the paper, I discuss the relationship between my examples and Frankfurt-type cases involving both actions and omissions. I conclude that while I may be responsible for the consequences of an action even if those consequences are unavoidable, this is not necessarily so for the consequences of omissions.},
  author       = {Talbert, Matthew},
  issn         = {1386-9795},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {1},
  pages        = {47--61},
  publisher    = {Taylor & Francis},
  series       = {Philosophical Explorations},
  title        = {Praise and Prevention},
  volume       = {15},
  year         = {2012},
}