Romance and Responsibility in Woody Allen’s “Manhattan”

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Reflection on the wrongs done by characters in Woody Allen’s romantic comedy “Manhattan” helps us get clear about the evidence required to judge them responsible and so liable to blame them for those wrongs. On the positive side, what is required is evidence that trust remains a possibility, despite the fact that they wrong, and this in turn requires evidence that the wrongdoer had, but failed to exercise, the capacity to do the right thing when they did that wrong. On the negative side, what is not required is evidence of some explanation of that failure. This counts against a well-known suggestion of Gary Watson’s in “Skepticism about Weakness of Will.”

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)317-339
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Ethics
Issue number1-3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Philosophy


  • Blame
  • Dean Cocking and Jeanette Kennett
  • Friendship
  • Gary Watson
  • Love
  • Rational capacity
  • Trust
  • Woody Allen


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