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Personal Responsibility XXXXX XXXXX Gen/200 September 20th 2012 Mr. Hawkins Personal Responsibility Essay Introduction As we think about it what is personal responsibility? Is it doing the right thing or action even when no one is watching, how difficult can that be? Can it apply to all facets of our lives? For example how many times have we seen someone drop trash on the ground just feet or

Personal Responsibility Essay Gen 200 July 28, 2014 Personal Responsibility Essay “Being thoughtful and taking responsibility serves you well, as your accountability is one measure of your success. In our professional and personal lives, most of us typically take responsibility for our actions, words, and attitudes. An occasional “oops” can rapidly put us on a radar that we'd prefer not to be on, irrevocably annoy our student population, or cause a family rift.” (Zavod, 2014

While most students can achieve some level of success while haphazardly attending to their responsibilities, to be truly successful in college a student must demonstrate a higher level of personal responsibility. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, Responsibility is “A moral obligation to behave correctly towards or in respect of a person or thing. With to, towards, or for.” Personal Responsibility is the voice in our head, consider it our inner compass that tells us what needs to be

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It is possible for an agent's actions to issue from a moderately reasons-responsive mechanism whose primary constituents have been induced externally by clandestine manipulation, hypnosis, brainwashing, and so forth. Intuitively, in cases of this sort the agent is not morally responsible for the pertinent actions. Such cases impel Fischer and Ravizza to theorize that the way in which the agent's springs of action are acquired has a pronounced bearing on responsibility; responsibility is, consequently, an essentially "historical" phenomenon. Fischer and Ravizza's prognosis is that in these troubling cases, the mechanism that issues in action is not the "agent's own", the agent having failed to take responsibility for it. Reasons sensitivity, thus, requires supplementation with the mechanism-ownership component to guard against causal springs being acquired in a manner that subverts responsibility.

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Recently, it has been argued that determinism undermines the truth of other pivotal moral judgments such as that of deontic judgments involving moral obligation, right, and wrong. One such argument that I have developed starts with the "ought" implies "can" principle: if one morally ought to [ought not to] do something, then one can do [can refrain from doing] that thing; and the principle: if it is morally wrong for one to do something, then one morally ought not to do it. These principles entail that if it is wrong for one to do something, then one can refrain from doing it. So there is a requirement of alternative possibilities for wrongness. The argument can be extended to show that there is such a requirement for obligation and rightness as well. As determinism effaces alternative possibilities, determinism threatens the truth of deontic judgments. Fischer submits that it would render his semicompatibilism--the view that determinism is incompatible with regulative control but compatible with responsibility--considerably less interesting if determinism undermined other moral appraisals such as deontic ones. Thus, Fischer challenges the sort of argument that I have sketched. He claims that various Frankfurt examples involving omissions give us reason to jettison the "ought" implies "can" principle. Suppose that in one instance of this sort of case, Sally fails to raise her hand, thereby ensuring that a child is not rescued from impending disaster. Sally is blameworthy for this omission even though, given her circumstances, she could not have raised her hand. Fischer reasons that since Sally is morally blameworthy for not raising her hand, "she acted wrongly in failing to raise her hand, and thus that she ought to have raised it" (25). But as she could not have raised it, "ought" does not imply "can."

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It is difficult to overestimate the influence of Strawson's work onthe topic of moral responsibility. The resurgence of interest inmetaphysical treatments of freedom and moral responsibility in recentyears is a sign that most have not been persuaded by his most radicalcritique of such approaches. Nevertheless, his enduring influence isreflected in the ongoing rich discussion of the place and role of thereactive attitudes in human life and in the way contemporary theoristssituate their models of responsibility in relation to theaccountability model, which he helped to define.

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Some views fit uneasily in either of these two categories. Forexample, according to another influential view, someone is responsiblefor an action or attitude just in case it is connected to her capacityfor evaluative judgment in a way that opens her up, in principle, todemands for justification from others (Oshana 1997; Scanlon 1998; andSmith 2005/2008/2012). Such a view—call it the "answerability"model—appears to combine aspects of the attributability andaccountability models (see discussion by Watson 2011 and Shoemaker2012). The self-disclosure aspect of the attributability model isreflected in emphasizing that the target of appraisal must bejudgment-sensitive. The interpersonal emphasis characteristic ofStrawson-inspired accountability models is reflected in the demand forjustification (though answerability theorists tend to reject anecessary connection between these demands and the reactiveattitudes). In this way, the answerability model offers thepossibility of re-unifying discussions of responsibility (Smith 2012),but some see further grounds for distinguishing an additional sense ofresponsibility (Shoemaker 2012).


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Notably, some accounts of responsibility make no essentialreference to the reactive attitudes or their accompanyingpractices. Perhaps the clearest example of these are so-called“ledger” views of moral responsibility. According to suchviews, the practice of ascribing responsibility involves assigning acredit or debit to a metaphorical ledger associated with each agent(Feinberg: 30–1; Glover: 64; Zimmerman: 38–9; and discussion of suchviews in Watson 1987: 261–2; and Fischer & Ravizza 1998: 8–10,nt. 12). In other words, an agent is responsible if a fault or creditis properly attributable to her.

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Ledger views belong to a broader class of views which regardresponsibility to be a matter of proper attributability. As GaryWatson has highlighted, the central concern in such views is whetherthe agent's action or attitude discloses her evaluative judgments orcommitments (1996). Satisfying some baseline conditions ofresponsibility as attributability would appear to be necessary inorder to be responsible in the sense of accountable. For example, itwould seem unfair to hold someone accountable for an action viareactive attitudes such as resentment or indignation, if the actionwas not properly attributable to the agent--say, because she succumbedto a genuinely coercive psychological compulsion. Yet beingresponsible in the attributability sense is not sufficient for beingresponsible in the accountability sense. As Watson points out, it maymake no sense to hold the agent responsible for the action inquestion, since it may not be the sort of thing for which they areaccountable to us. For example, one may think that in making a careerdecision, an acquaintance failed to give due consideration to whatwould most fully develop and exercise his talents. Though this is nota moral judgment in the narrow sense favored by accountabilitytheorists (that is, it is unconnected to any interpersonal demand, ormutual expectation, of the sort presupposed by the reactive attitudes)it is a case of finding fault in the way an agent has exercised hisjudgment. If responsibility as accountability and attributability cancome apart in this way, then there appear to be at least two distinctconcepts of responsibility.[]