Moral Responsibility

Acta Analytica

, Volume 22, Issue 1, pp 16-28

First online:

Freedom and trying: Understanding agent-causal exertions

  • Meghan GriffithAffiliated withDepartment of Philosophy, Davidson College Email author 

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In this paper, I argue that trying is the locus of freedom and moral responsibility. Thus, any plausible view of free and responsible action must accommodate and account for free tryings. I then consider a version of agent causation whereby the agent directly causes her tryings. On this view, the agent is afforded direct control over her efforts and there is no need to posit—as other agent-causal theorists do—an uncaused event. I discuss the potential advantages of this sort of view, and its challenges.


freedom trying exertion action agent causation