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1 TAKING RESPONSIBILITY FOR VOLUNTARY DISADVANTAGES

By Nicole A Vincent

Abstract

Responsibility plays a key role in our thinking about how people should be treated; roughly, it seems that people should take responsibility for those things for which they were responsible, and that no one should expect others to take this responsibility for them. However this “responsibility-tracking intuition ” – i.e. the intuition that how we treat others should track their responsibility – has harsh consequences. For instance, it leads some to think that those who suffer liver cirrhosis due to years of heavy alcohol consumption should be placed lower down the list of potential liver transplant recipients than those who are not responsible for their own ill health. Similar claims are also made about smokers, those who eat a bad diet and get no exercise, and those who engage in dangerous recreational activities and who consequently suffer health problems. Even more surprisingly, this intuition seems to lie at the core of luck egalitarian thinking, and it leads luck egalitarians to harsh conclusions too. However, I argue that it is far from clear that people’s entitlements should “track their responsibility”, because the mere fact that someone was responsible for something shows neither that they should now take responsibility for it, nor that they should do so in some specific way. On my account, whether and ho

Year: 2015
OAI identifier: oai:CiteSeerX.psu:10.1.1.543.5242
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