Culpability, Consciousness, and Carrying on Regardless
18 October 2021
13:00 - 14:30
Please sign up for this event using this form.When a criminal offence requires that a defendant knows, believes, or is aware of something, should we require that knowledge, belief, or awareness to be conscious? And if we should, in what sense of ‘conscious’? With regards to some senses of ‘conscious’, the answer is clearly ‘no’. But I will argue that there is one sense in which we should we should require knowledge, belief, and awareness to be conscious in the criminal law. This is an ‘epistemic’ sense of consciousness according to which a mental state is conscious just in case its subject has immediate and authoritative knowledge of it. Demonstrating this, however, involves investigating a strangely undertheorized question in philosophy of action: the question of what it is to act in spite of a fact.