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The Modern Schoolman

Volume 88, Issue 1/2, January/April 2011

Free Will and Moral Responsibility

Kevin Timpe
Pages 5-28
DOI: 10.5840/schoolman2011881/22

Tracing and the Epistemic Condition on Moral Responsibility

In “The Trouble with Tracing,” Manuel Vargas argues that tracing-based approaches to moral responsibility are considerably more problematic than previously acknowledged. Vargas argues that many initially plausible tracing-based cases of moral responsibility turn out to be ones in which the epistemic condition for moral responsibility is not satisfied, thus suggesting that contrary to initial appearances the agent isn’t morally responsible for the action in question. In the present paper, I outline two different strategies for responding to Vargas’s trouble with tracing. I then show how further consideration of the epistemic condition for moral responsibility renders tracing significantly less problematic than Vargas claims.