Empathic Control

  • David Shoemaker Cornell University
Keywords: control, free will, responsibility, volition, attitudes, empathy


It has long been thought that control is necessary for moral responsibility. Call this the control condition. Given its pride of place in the free will debate, “control” has almost always been taken to be shorthand for voluntary control, an exercise of choice or will. Over the last few decades, however, many have been arguing for including a range of attitudes for which we seem to be responsible that, if controlled at all, must be controlled via a very different mechanism, namely, evaluative judgment. Call this second type of control evaluative control. In this paper I will present and discuss in detail an additional agential stance—reasonish regard—for which we treat one another as responsible, but that is ungoverned by either of the first two types of control. If we want to require a control condition for responsibility, then, we will need to introduce and include a third type of control, what I call empathic control.

How to Cite
Shoemaker, D. (2022). Empathic Control. HUMANA.MENTE Journal of Philosophical Studies, 15(42), 89-118. Retrieved from https://www.humanamente.eu/index.php/HM/article/view/401
Moral and legal responsibility