Article/Publication Details

The Food Thief: Alleviation of Responsibility in Terms of All-Things-Considered Obligations

(The Food Thief: Alleviation of Responsibility in Terms of All-Things-Considered Obligations)
Filozofia, 2019, vol. 74, No 10, pp. 841-851.
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People sometimes have to steal food to survive. Yet it is unclear whether they are to be excused for doing so. A recent paper by Alejandra Mancilla argues for the rarely defended affirmative answer. About the same time, the Italyʼs Supreme Court of Cassation ruled that stealing a small amount of food when in extreme need does not constitute a crime. Given that food thieves in extreme need can be sometimes excused, the present paper aims to offer a semi-formal account of responsibility that makes space for the alleviation of responsibility in such ‘food thief’ scenario. I argue that a solution is buried in the notion of eligible strategy employed in an account of responsibility suggested by Matthew Braham and Martin van Hees. I argue that a possible answer to the issue of (in)eligibility can be provided in terms of all-things-considered obligations, or the lack thereof.

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