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Outsourcing the deep self: Deep self discordance does not explain away intuitions in manipulation arguments
Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-3112-0673
2016 (English)In: Philosophical Psychology, ISSN 0951-5089, E-ISSN 1465-394X, Vol. 29, no 5, 637-653 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

According to manipulation arguments for incompatibilism, manipulation might undermine an agent's responsibility even when the agent satisfies plausible compatibilist conditions on responsibility. According to Sripada (2012), however, empirical data suggest that people take manipulation to undermine responsibility largely because they think that the manipulated act is in discord with the agent's “deep self”, thus violating the plausible compatibilist condition of deep self concordance. This paper defends Sripada's methodological approach but presents data from an experiment that corrects for crucial weaknesses in his study. These data strongly suggest that, contrary to Sripada’s contention, most of the effect of manipulation on attributions of moral responsibility is unmediated by worries about inadequate information or deep self discordance. Instead, it depends largely on worries that the action is ultimately explained by factors outside the agent’s control, just as proponents of manipulation arguments have proposed. More generally, data suggest that judgments of deep self discordance are themselves explained by worries about responsibility, and that the everyday notion of what an agent wants or is “deep down” is sensitive not only to the agent’s internal psychological structure, but also its source. This casts doubt on recent claims about the explanatory role of deep self judgments.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 29, no 5, 637-653 p.
National Category
Philosophy Ethics
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-113809DOI: 10.1080/09515089.2016.1150448ISI: 000378148300001OAI: diva2:890380
Riksbankens Jubileumsfond
Available from: 2016-01-03 Created: 2016-01-03 Last updated: 2016-07-22Bibliographically approved

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Björnsson, Gunnar
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