Three faces of responsibility? Comments on responsibility from the margins
This rich and wide-ranging book defends a “tripartite theory” of responsibility. The general thesis is that responsibility-responses (understood as families of sentimental reactions to others in their capacity as actors or holders of particular attitudes) fall into three overlapping categories, each of which presumes distinct agential capacities. On the basis of a close examination of various sorts of marginal agency, these capacities are said to be independent and ground what deserves to be called distinct types or “faces” of responsibility. The first face, attributability, depends on a capacity for character, answerability on a capacity for judgment, and accountability on a capacity for “regard”. This commentary questions the theory’s account of the relations among the types of responsibility, and its attempt to ground responsibility-responses in qualities of “will”.