How to Understand Moral Responsibility?


Marek Järvik


University of Tartu



Abstract. More often than not, discussions of moral responsibility centre on questions of determinism and free will. This makes sense, since the latter are logically related to responsibility. On the other hand, though, it certainly makes it more difficult to understand moral responsibility. Moral responsibility is a social phenomenon that occurs in social relations, i.e. in relations that make it possible for the society to function. In my philosophical approach to the concept of moral responsibility I stress its social nature. This is important to avoid interpreting responsibility in ways that differ significantly from what we are used to in our daily life.