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Grant number like: FA-56423-12

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Randolph Kent Clarke
Florida State University (Tallahassee, FL 32306-0001)

Fellowships for University Teachers
Research Programs

[Grant products]

$50,400 (approved)
$50,389 (awarded)

Grant period:
8/1/2012 – 7/31/2013

Omissions: Metaphysics, Agency, and Responsibility

Philosophical theories of agency and responsibility have focused primarily on actions--on things such as firing a gun or telling a lie. Omissions have received relatively little attention, despite the fact that they constitute an important aspect of our agency. Omitting to act, like acting, commonly has consequences; and we can be praiseworthy or blameworthy--and sometimes legally liable--for our omissions, just as we can be for our actions. There is currently no comprehensive account of omissions. The book I am writing will provide such a view. The main questions to be addressed are: what is an omission, what is it to intentionally omit to do something, and under what conditions is an agent morally or legally responsible for an omission. The aim is to add significantly to our understanding of human agency. The book will be of interest to theorists working on freedom, responsibility, and law.