28/4: Benjamin Matheson: “Are we morally responsible for our drunken behaviour?”

Filosofiska föreningens sista föreläsning för våren kommer att hållas av Benjamin Matheson, post-doc i praktisk filosofi vid Göteborgs universitet. Hans huvudsakliga forskningsintresse är moraliskt ansvar.

Are we morally responsible for our drunken behaviour?

– Have you ever got drunk?
– Have you ever done anything foolish whilst drunk?
– Have you every appealed to the fact you were drunk to excuse your drunken behaviour?
– Have you every accepted the fact that someone was drunk as an excuse for their behaviour?


I suspect that most people will answer ‘yes’ to all these questions. The last two questions are the most important in the present context. Answering ‘yes’ to these questions implies that you think that drunkenness is sometimes an excuse – that is, the fact someone was drunk sometimes gives us reason not to hold that person morally responsible for what they did whilst drunk. Even if you only answered ‘yes’ to one of these two questions, this is enough to show that you (at least implicitly) accept what I will call ‘the everyday view’. According to the everyday view, drunkenness sometimes excuses.


Philosophers typically (and quickly) say that we are not morally responsible for drunken behaviour only when we were either (a) forced to get drunk or (b) did not and could not know the effects and possible consequences of drinking alcohol. I will call this ‘the philosopher’s view’. This view rejects the claim that sometimes drunkenness is an excuse. In this talk, I’m going to argue that the philosopher’s view is mistaken, and I’m doing to defend the everyday view that drunkenness is sometimes an excuse.

Efter föreläsningen blir det samkväm som vanligt. För att få lyssna på föreläsningen behöver man vara medlem i filosofiska föreningen. Det blir man på plats och det kostar 50kr/år.
Vi tar emot betalning med kontanter eller swish


The last spring lecture for the Philosophical Society will be given by Benjamin Matheson, post-doc in practical philosophy at the University of Gothenburg. The talk will be given in english.

In order to attend the talk you have to be a member of the philosophical society which you can become in connection to the lecture. It costs 50kr/year. We can accept payment in cash and by swish.


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