The Journal of Ethics

, Volume 10, Issue 1–2, pp 5–19 | Cite as

What is the Accordion Effect?

  • Michael E. BratmanEmail author


In "Action and Responsibility,'' Joel Feinberg pointed to an important idea to which he gave the label "the accordion effect.'' Feinberg's discussion of this idea is of interest on its own, but it is also of interest because of its interaction with his critique, in his "Causing Voluntary Actions,'' of a much discussed view of H. L. A. Hart and A. M. Honoré that Feinberg labels the "voluntary intervention principle.'' In this essay I reflect on what the accordion effect is supposed by Feinberg to be, on differences between Feinberg's understanding of this idea and that of Donald Davidson, and on the interaction between Feinberg's discussion of the accordion effect and his critique of the voluntary intervention principle.

Key words

accordion effect action agency John Atwell causation Donald Davidson Joel Feinberg H. L. A. Hart A. M. Honoré Keith Lehrer responsibility transitivity of causation voluntary intervention principle 


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Copyright information

© Springer 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyStanford UniversityStanfordUSA

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