Has the idea of responsibility for NOT having a certain thought been addressed in the free will literature?
Certain forms of compatibilism seem to hinge on denying that we are 'bypassed', a term described very well by Professor Nahmias as referring to "the idea that our conscious deliberations, our desires, or our reasons play no role in what happens" (quoted from his response to question 3236 on 6/1/10).
But what about thoughts and ideas that simply don't occur to us? There is no grand buffet of potential thoughts that I (whatever "I" means) get to choose from, I can't prevent myself from having something occur to me and I can't force something to occur to me. So how could I be responsible for the absence of a certain thought.
Clearly there are uncountably many situations in which someone's failure to act or someone's decision to act lead to consequences that may not have happened had a different thought occurred to the person. But, in a certain sense, they were definitely bypassed in the "thought selection" process. They just weren't bypassed in the "I'm now aware that I'm thinking this thought" process.
Thanks for your answers and thanks for this awesome website!