Il rincrescimento dell'agente di Bernard Williams: un confronto con la colpa, il rimorso e altre forme di rincrescimento


  • Simone Gasparoni Independent



Bernard Williams, agent-regret, guilt, remorse, shame


This essay explores Bernard Williams’ notion of agent-regret, comparing it with guilt, remorse, and other forms of regret. I first highlight some features of the intentional structure of guilt (also in relation to shame) and remorse, and then proceed to the analysis of regret. I discuss several examples of regret, including Williams’ discussion of the truck driver who accidentally runs over a child. In agreement with Williams, I argue that agent-regret has a moral significance not captured by either guilt or remorse. If we generally feel guilty or remorseful for intentional actions or omissions, regret shows that we are emotionally attached even to the involuntary aspects of what we do. Agent-regret suggests that our concept of responsibility is broader than we think, and its phenomenology (as well as its potential action tendencies) may be indicative of an agent’s morality.