Prof. Radoilska to Speak on Moral Competence and Mental Disorder

On 13 December, Professor Lubomira Radoilska will give a talk at the Centre for Reasoning on the topic of Moral Competence and Mental Disorder.

In this talk, she will argue for two related claims. First, severe mental disorders and psychological impairments might impact moral competence not only by reducing its scope or precision (hypo-agency) but also by amplifying either of these dimensions (hyper-agency); and second, neither need to be incapacitating, that is, making hypo- or hyper-agents inappropriate subjects of moral responsibility ascriptions. The ambition is to shed new light on ‘knowledge’ in the knowledge condition on moral responsibility and to advance a wider project of socialising responsibility by emphasizing the relevance of the contexts in which responsible agency is exercised.

She will start by introducing the notion of moral competence and the standard account of how this can be affected by mental disorders and psychological impairments. She then explores first-personal narratives of people with bipolar disorder, autism and schizophrenia for possible impacts of hypo- and hyper-agency on moral competence. Finally, she will revisit the so-called ecological or scaffolding account of responsibility to make room for the un-scaffolding of one’s agency as a core exercise of moral competence in debilitating contexts.

Time: 3.30-5pm UK time, Tuesday 13 December

In person: Room KS23, University of Kent 

Online: MS Teams