29-30 May 2017 Louvain-la-Neuve (Belgium)

Sense of Agency and Moral Responsibility



Sense of agency is the feeling that one has of being the author of one's actions. Recent empirical work on the sense of agency has produced some startling results. For instance, it appears to be that the sense of agency can be manipulated so that experimental participants feel a sense of agency over actions that they did not cause. Similarly, studies conducted since the 1980s have been used in arguments for the view that sense of agency appears not to play the causal or epistemic role that is imputed to it in many common-sense and philosophical accounts of action. What are the consequences of such studies for control and moral responsibility? One may give a negative account of the consequence, which would explain that folk views are mistaken and why this is, or one may give a positive account that explains the role of sense of agency in a way that implies partial revision of the folk view. Either way, it appears that the relationship of sense of agency to our normative practices is more complex than implied by folk views. This conference aims at contributing to questions about the relationship between the view implied by our responsibility practices and that which emerges from the experimental results.


Organising Committee

Marcus Missal (Université catholique de Louvain)

Axel Cleeremans (Université libre de Bruxelles)

Andrew Sims (Université catholique de Louvain)


Invited Speakers

Emilie Caspar (Université libre de Bruxelles)

Joshua Shepherd (Oxford University)

Markus Schlosser (University College Dublin)

Simone Schütz-Bosbach (Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München)


Supported by

Fonds national de la recherche scientifique (F.R.S.-FNRS)

Action de recherche concertée (ARC) "Causality and Free Will"

Centre de philosophie des sciences et sociétés (CEFISES), Institut supérieur de philosophie (ISP), Université catholique de Louvain (UCLouvain)

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