Manuel Vargas led a course on Moral Responsibility, Free Will, and Politics
Gothenburg Responsibility Project had invited professor Manuel Vargas, from the University of San Francisco, to lead a week long seminar course for second cycle students and PhD students in Sweden, May 23-27. The course draw some attention nationwide and was also appreciated by several members of the GRP, who also took part.
The seminars considered recent work that investigates moral responsibility and free will, and the relationship of both to issues in social and political philosophy. The course began with an overview of contemporary debates about free will. It then focused on recent accounts of moral responsibility (e.g., by Doris, Vargas, and others) that emphasize pictures of agency that are sometimes characterized as "porous" "ecological" or "socially-embedded." Accordingly, the final portion of the course was concerned with such issues including retributive punishment, adaptive preferences, ideological structuring of choices, and "nudges" or modifications to choice architecture that are designed to produce pro-social results without infringing on freedom of choice.