Many prominent theories of moral responsibility rely on the notion of "tracing," the idea that responsibility for an outcome can be located in (i.e., "traced back to") some prior moment of control, perhaps significantly antecedent to the proximate sources of a considered action. In this article, I show how there is a problem for theories that rely on tracing. The problem is connected to the knowledge condition on moral responsibility. Many prima facie good candidate cases for tracing analyses appear to violate the knowledge condition on moral responsibility. So, either we need to dispense with tracing approaches or we must refine our understanding of the knowledge condition or we are responsible less frequently than we suppose.
Vargas, Manuel R., "The Trouble with Tracing" (2005). Philosophy. 3.