Southwest Philosophy Review

Volume 40, Issue 1, January 2024

Cody Harris
Pages 79-86

Ecumenical Attributability and the Structural Ownership Condition on Moral Responsibility

This paper discusses the non-historicist structural ownership condition on moral responsibility forwarded by Benjamin Matheson. The structural ownership condition requires that a morally relevant action be grounded or partly grounded in psychological states that are generally coherent. While Matheson does not mean to settle the debate on historicism vs. non-historicism, he does mean to secure the position of the ownership condition against the problems that structuralist theories have faced in the past. This paper will focus on how the ownership condition handles cases of ambivalent agents. Intuitively, ambivalent agents should be responsible for what they do as long as what they do is expressive of their cares or commitments, or their authentic character. At a first glance it appears that the ownership condition follows intuitions about ambivalence, but with a closer look we can see that Matheson has provided a potential counter example to this position.