Philosophy Tag

Hey, remember Philosophy Tag? Someone got called home for dinner or something in the middle of the last game and that was that for a while, but now it is back, courtesy of Sara Bernstein (Duke). Let’s see who she has tagged…

Consider the following case, Battlefield: You are at the battlefield and see that some of your soldiers are about to be slaughtered by the enemy. You could save any one of them, but only one of them (you only have one bullet left). You cannot get yourself to choose which one to save so they all die. For what, exactly, are you causally responsible? In an excellent recent paper in BJPS, “Disjunctive Effects and the Logic of Causation” (manuscript here), Roberta Ballarin (UBC) uses this case and others like it to argue that effects can be disjunctive. In Battlefield, for example, you are causally responsible for the first soldier’s death, the second soldier’s death, or the third soldier’s death, but not for all of them. She also extends her result to intensional notions like believing, wanting, and owing. This paper is of broad interest, but will be particularly relevant for those working on causation, moral responsibility, or the structure of belief. Roberta Ballarin, you’re it.

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