ASCA Philosophy and Public Affairs Lecture Series
|Date||29 October 2014|
|Location||Oude Turfmarkt 145-147|
|Room||Oude Turfmarkt 147, Faculteitskamer|
In this paper I give a Kantian answer to the question why, if at all, people suffering from mental disorders that fall within the schizophrenia spectrum should be exonerated from blame. I answer that question by reconstructing Kant¹s account of mental disorder, particularly his explanation of psychotic symptoms. I show that on Kant¹s view these symptoms are due to various cognitive impairments and discuss Kant¹s claim that the unifying feature of the disorder is the patient¹s inability to enter into a mutual exchange of epistemic or moral reasons. After developing a Kantian Quality of Will Thesis, I analyse some real life cases. I argue, firstly, that patients who are unable to enter into a mutual exchange of epistemic reasons are exempted from doxastic rather than moral responsibility. They are exonerated from blame only if their actions do not express a lack of good will. Secondly, I argue that patients who are either unable to form intentions and make plans or unable to enter into a mutual exchange of moral reasons are exempted from moral responsibility on the grounds that they do not satisfy the requirements for moral agency.