The Amherst Lecture In Philosophy.

Lecture 3, 2008

“Inadvertence and Responsibility”
Harry G. Frankfurt
Princeton University

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Against the view of certain philosophers, such as Thomas Nagel, I defend the common sense belief that people are not morally responsible for what they do or bring about inadvertently. I consider what response we might reasonably expect from a person who inadvertently does or brings about some event or condition that is manifestly undesirable or bad; and I suggest that we might reasonably expect such a person not to feel guilty but, rather, to feel embarrassed by his or her inability to prevent or avoid that condition or event.

Preferred citation
Frankfurt, Harry G. “Inadvertence and Responsibility.” The Amherst Lecture in Philosophy 3 (2008): 1–15. <>.