Published online by Cambridge University Press: 27 August 2021
The aim of the chapter is to develop an understanding of what moral responsibility is, so that this can, in later chapters, be applied to the case of the psychopath. I begin by distinguishing moral responsibility from other senses of responsibility, including causal, virtue, and obligation responsibility, and elucidate the various connections between these senses. I then consider the relationship between moral responsibility, praiseworthiness and blameworthiness, and the range of phenomena for which it is possible to be morally responsible. Next, I proceed to consider two major theories of moral responsibility: the Strawsonian ‘reactive attitudes’ account and the ‘reasons-responsiveness’ account. I consider the advantages and disadvantages of these, and their ability to account for a range of cases. Finally, I argue for an account adapted from R. Jay Wallace’s version of reasons-responsiveness.