Responsibility and the Metaphysics of Omissions

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

4 Scopus citations


What is the bearing of the metaphysics of omissions on debates about moral responsibility? If it turned out that omissions and absences in general don’t have any causal powers, what would follow about the moral responsibility of agents in certain cases where omissions and absences seem to be involved? This paper examines these and related questions. It will look at the significance of the distinction between views on which omissions and absences can have causal powers. It will examine cases where the moral responsibility of agents seems to involve absences as either causes, effects, or causal intermediaries. It will also examine the bearing of the metaphysics of omissions on views according to which the moral responsibility of agents for their choices depends on the agent’s sensitivity to negative features of the world around them.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationNon-Being
Subtitle of host publicationNew Essays on the Metaphysics of Nonexistence
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9780198846222
StatePublished - Jan 1 2021


  • causal explanations
  • causation
  • moral responsibility
  • Omissions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Arts and Humanities

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