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What makes us responsible: Fischer and Ravizza on implicit attitudes
thesisposted on 2022-03-28, 12:51 authored by Michael Ledger
Implicit attitudes are a mental construct which can affect our behaviours. However, the influence of these attitudes can sometimes lead to their being manifested in potentially prejudicial or discriminatory behaviours. Because of the potentially harmful effects of these behaviours, it is important that theories of moral responsibility be able to properly regard behaviours which manifest our implicit attitudes. However, there is considerable divergence in opinions in the literature surrounding the nature of implicit attitudes and the effects they have on behaviour. Therefore, determining the extent to which we may be held morally responsible for our actions manifesting our implicit attitudes can prove difficult. The theory of moral responsibility put forward by Fisher and Ravizza (1998) presents a criterion for responsibility which I argue is capable of sufficiently responding to the challenges posed by implicit attitudes. The following project is therefore an examination of the Fischer and Ravizza theory, and its notion of a reasons-responsive deliberative mechanism. This project is also an inquiry into the nature of implicit attitudes and the role they play in this deliberative mechanism. Thus I ask the question, 'according to a Fischer and Revizza theory of responsibility, to what extent may we be held morally reasponsible for our actions manifesting our implicit attitudes'?