Manipulated agents. Scientific seminar of the Center for Consciousness Studies

9 January, 2022

This is the first seminar of the Center, which was held online due to the quarantine measures taken. The subject of discussion was the book by Alfred Alfred Mele "Manipulated agents. A window to moral responsibility."

The book explores the question of whether our history — past actions, events that have happened to us, and the influences that we have experienced — matters for solving the question of our moral responsibility for current actions; and if it does, then what. According to Frankfort, if a person commits an act because he or she sincerely and unconditionally wants to do it, he or she is responsible for it, regardless of how his desire was formed. It is often assumed that such a view is natural for supporters of compatibilist positions. However, a whole series of thought experiments with cases of manipulation are directed against him, which demonstrate the relevance of history to the question of whether guilt or trust is deserved. Mele analyzes these thought experiments in detail, emphasizing their role in understanding the nature of moral responsibility, and concludes that, without questioning the compatibility of free will with determinism, they encourage the adoption of a history-responsive interpretation of moral responsibility by both compatibilists and libertarians.

Speakers: Ph.D. Artem Besedin and Center employee Andrey Mertsalov.

Participants: V.Vasilyev, D.Volkov, A.Kostikova, O.Cherkashina, M.Sekatskaya, E.Loginov, S.Levin, A.Kuznetsov.