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PH100 Lecture Notes

Qualification for p1 clarification 4 what their

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Qualification for P1 Clarification #4: What their argument is supposed to establish. The argument does not establish that any specific individual is excused “Instead, the argument creates a strong general presumption that perpetrators of wartime atrocities are not morally responsible” (28) Qualification for conclusion Clarification #5: What the conclusion entails. The conclusion does not entail exculpation of war criminals Perpetrators should be punished even if they are not morally responsible Qualification of consequences of argument Outline of the Essay I. They set out the philosophical considerations that support P1 II. They present empirical evidence in support of P2 III. They illustrate their conclusion by discussing the My Lai massacre and the question of obedience to authority IV. They turn to a consideration of abuses at Abu Ghaib V. They discuss the practical implications of their conclusion Premise 1, Moral Responsibility and Excusing Conditions Claim 1 (accepted by most philosophers): Causal responsibility isn't sufficient for moral responsibility: there might be excusing or exempting conditions. Exempting conditions obtain when an individual is in a state which is generally inappropriate to hold him/her to moral demands – e.g., children or mentally disabled Excusing conditions “obtain when individuals who would normally be held responsible nonetheless act
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in circumstances that it make unreasonable or unfair to hold them, in those circumstances, to otherwise applicable moral demands” (29) – e.g., cases of coercion (1) In order to have moral POV, you need to achieve perceptual, interpretive, emotional capacities. (2) Difference between causal responsibility and moral responsibility. Claim 2 (also accepted by most philosophers): Certain powers are necessary for moral responsibility Powers of reflection: the cognitive capacities that play a role in evaluating and selecting actions Powers of self-control : the capacities that motivate and regulate behavior in light of relevant cognition Responsibility and Law: the notion of normative competence “Normative competence is...a complex capacity enabling its possessor to appreciate ethical considerations, ascertain information relevant to particular ethical judgments, and identify behavior implementing their ethical judgments” (30). serious impediments to the exercise of this capacity may amount to excusing conditions Need normative competence to be morally responsible Doris and Murphy's aim: to examine whether excusing conditions obtain in the case of individuals involved in combat to determine whether excusing conditions obtain, they need to determine the behavioral relevance of cognitively degrading factors Bad Apples and Atrocity “Are perpetrators of atrocity pathological or mentally deranged?” “Are atrocities due to some kind of persistent cognitive impairment?” “Are the perpetrators few ‘bad apples’?” Doris and Murphy: No, “ordinary people” commit atrocities. “[I]n many – or most – conflicts, it is more
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