Determining who, or what, is responsible for actions is a critical endeavor. However, without an adequate theory of moral agency, such responsibility ascriptions are liable to lead to problematic consequences. Humans, collectives, machines and animals are presented as moral agents, and while responsibility attributions to humans are typically unchallenged, responsibility ascriptions to collectives, machines and animals are often strongly contested. It is therefore necessary to examine the concept of moral agency with the aim of determining the conditions under which an agent can be held responsible for actions.
However, while this work acknowledges the debate on whether non-human agents are responsible agents or not, its examination of moral agency is premised on a basic understanding of the human nature; since humans are considered to be moral agents in a way that other animals are not.
Lecture By Mrs Ope Akoleowo