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9780199697540: Building Better Beings: A Theory of Moral Responsibility
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  • WINNER OF THE AMERICAN PHILOSOPHICAL ASSOCIATION BOOK PRIZE (2015).
Building Better Beings presents a new theory of moral responsibility. Beginning with a discussion of ordinary convictions about responsibility and free will and their implications for a philosophical theory, Manuel Vargas argues that no theory can do justice to all the things we want from a theory of free will and moral responsibility. He goes on to show how we can nevertheless justify our responsibility practices and provide a normatively and naturalistically adequate account of responsible agency, blame, and desert.

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About the Author:

Manuel Vargas is Professor of Philosophy and Law at the University of San Francisco.
Review:
"[D]etailed, intricate, and nuanced. Every chapter contains arguments that are interesting, novel, and worthy of attention . . . . a worthwhile and compelling book"     -- Kevin Timpe, Ethics

"Manuel Vargas is one of the most prominent members of the younger generation of philosophers who are currently revitalizing the debate over free will and moral responsibility. His revisionist view is already influential, but its impact was limited by the absence of a definitive and comprehensive defense of the position. This book provides us with that defense, and it has been worth the wait. With characteristic wit, Vargas sets out and defends a subtle and powerful view"     -- Neil Levy, Philosophical Quarterly

"Vargas masterfully cooks up a brilliantly refined account to be savored as much for its readable presentation as its very satisfying philosophical flavor."     --V. Alan White, Philosophy in Review 

"Indispensable. The state of the art--and the state of the art to be--from one of the most insightful philosophers working on agency and moral responsibility."      -- John M. Doris, Washington University in St. Louis

"The book is impressive in its vision and its thorough treatment of the massive literature surrounding the topics of free will and moral responsibility. Vargas offers the best assessment to date of the normative landscape as it bears on our actual moral responsibility practices, and he offers a visionary and compelling proposal for how we ought to proceed."     -- Michael McKenna, The University of Arizona

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  • PublisherOxford University Press
  • Publication date2013
  • ISBN 10 019969754X
  • ISBN 13 9780199697540
  • BindingHardcover
  • Number of pages356
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Hardcover. Condition: new. Hardcover. Building Better Beings presents a new theory of moral responsibility. Beginning with a discussion of ordinary convictions about responsibility and free will and their implications for a philosophical theory, Manuel Vargas argues that no theory can do justice to all the things we want from a theory of free will and moral responsibility. He goes on to show how we can nevertheless justify our responsibility practices and provide a normatively andnaturalistically adequate account of responsible agency, blame, and desert. Three ideas are central to Vargas' account: the agency cultivation model, circumstantialism about powers, and revisionism aboutresponsibility and free will. On Vargas' account, responsibility norms and practices are justified by their effects. In particular, the agency cultivation model holds that responsibility practices help mold us into creatures that respond to moral considerations. Moreover, the abilities that matter for responsibility and free will are not metaphysically prior features of agents in isolation from social contexts. Instead, they are functions of both agents and their normatively structuredcontexts. This is the idea of circumstantialism about the powers required for responsibility. Third, Vargas argues that an adequate theory of responsibility will be revisionist, or at odds with importantstrands of ordinary convictions about free will and moral responsibility. Building Better Beings provides a compelling and state-of-the-art defense of moral responsibility in the face of growing philosophical and scientific skepticism about free will and moral responsibility. Manuel Vargas presents a compelling and state-of-the-art defense of moral responsibility in the face of growing philosophical and scientific skepticism about free will and accountability. He shows how we can justify our responsibility practices, and provides a normatively and naturalistically adequate account of agency, blame, and desert. Shipping may be from our Sydney, NSW warehouse or from our UK or US warehouse, depending on stock availability. Seller Inventory # 9780199697540

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