In Progress

“Responsibilities and Taking on Responsibility”

Much of daily life on and off the job is consumed with taking care of responsibilities. This kind of responsibility is a familiar object of complaint: Some people have too many responsibilities. Some take on responsibilities that they ought not. Some meddle in what is not their responsibility. Some feel their willingness to take on responsibilities is exploited. Sometimes responsibilities seem unfairly distributed. But what is a responsibility? In particular, how is the concept of a responsibility related to that of an obligation? And is there an ethics of responsibility underlying familiar complaints having to do with having and taking on responsibilities. I begin by exploring the nature of responsibilities and then turn to the ethics of responsibility, focusing particularly on concerns related to taking on responsibilities.


CheshireAAPLecture copy Listen to “Well Content.” I delivered this paper as the keynote for the Australasian Association of Philosophy held at Macquarie University in 2015.