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Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Moral Responsibility and Mental Illness: A Call for Nuance

Matt King & Joshua May
Draft Paper


Does having a mental illness, in general, affect whether someone is morally responsible for an action? Against this Naive view, we argue for a Nuanced account. Sometimes mental illness absolutely excuses, but other times it doesn't. In some cases, mental illness can actually enhance one’s responsibility. The problem is not just that different theories of responsibility yield different judgments about particular cases. Even in cases when all reasonable theories agree about what's relevant to responsibility, the ways mental illness can affect behavior are so varied that a more nuanced account is warranted.

The paper is here.