The limits of evil and the role of moral address: A defense of Strawsonian compatibilism [Book Review]
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Journal of Ethics 2 (2):123-142 (1998)
P.F. Strawson defends compatibilism by appeal to our natural commitment to the interpersonal community and the reactive attitudes. While Strawson''s compatibilist project has much to recommend it, his account of moral agency appears incomplete. Gary Watson has attempted to fortify Strawson''s theory by appeal to the notion of moral address. Watson then proceeds to argue, however, that Strawson''s theory of moral responsibility (so fortified) would commit Strawson to treating extreme evil as its own excuse. Watson also argues that the reactive attitudes do not lend unequivocal support to Strawsonian compatibilism and that the reactive attitudes are sometimes sensitive to considerations which suggest an incompatibilist or skeptical diagnosis. Watson attempts to provide a Strawsonian defense against these difficulties, but he ultimately concludes that the skeptical threats raised against Strawsonian compatibilism cannot be sufficiently silenced. I believe that Watson has done Strawsonian compatibilism a great service by drawing upon the notion of moral address. In this paper I attempt to defend the Strawsonian compatibilist position, as Watson has cast it, against the problems raised by Watson. I argue against Watson that Strawson''s theory of responsibility, as well as the notion of moral address, does not commit the Strawsonian to treating extreme evil as its own excuse. I also argue that Watson misinterprets the point of certain reactive attitudes and thereby wrongly assumes that these attitudes are evidence against Strawsonian compatibilism.
|Keywords||Ethics Evil Moral Theory Social Philosophy Strawson|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
Manuel Vargas (2006). On the Importance of History for Responsible Agency. Philosophical Studies 127 (3):351-382.
Deborah Perron Tollefsen (2003). Participant Reactive Attitudes and Collective Responsibility. Philosophical Explorations 6 (3):218 – 234.
Chad Van Schoelandt (2015). Justification, Coercion, and the Place of Public Reason. Philosophical Studies 172 (4):1031-1050.
Michelle Ciurria (2013). Situationism, Moral Responsibility and Blame. Philosophia 41 (1):179-193.
David Shoemaker (2013). Qualities of Will. Social Philosophy and Policy 30 (1-2):95-120.
Similar books and articles
Michael S. McKenna (1998). Moral Theory and Modified Compatibilism. Journal of Philosophical Research 23 (January):441-458.
Richard Double (1997). Misdirection on the Free Will Problem. American Philosophical Quarterly 34 (3):359-68.
A. A. Howsepian (2007). Compatibilism, Evil, and the Free-Will Defense. Sophia 46 (3):217-236.
Shaun Nichols (2007). After Incompatibilism: A Naturalistic Defense of the Reactive Attitudes. Philosophical Perspectives 21 (1):405-428.
Varol Akman (2005). On Strawsonian Contexts. Pragmatics and Cognition 13 (2):363-382.
Jacek Malinowski (2006). On the Formalization of Strawson's Presupposition. Poznan Studies in the Philosophy of the Sciences and the Humanities 91 (1):111-118.
Angus Ross (2008). Rationality and the Reactive Attitudes. European Journal of Analytic Philosophy 4 (1):45-58.
Seth Shabo (2012). Where Love and Resentment Meet: Strawson's Intrapersonal Defense of Compatibilism. Philosophical Review 121 (1):95-124.
Seth Shabo (2012). Incompatibilism and Personal Relationships: Another Look at Strawson's Objective Attitude. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 90 (1):131 - 147.
Peter Brian Barry (2011). Saving Strawson: Evil and Strawsonian Accounts of Moral Responsibility. [REVIEW] Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 14 (1):5-21.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads128 ( #29,104 of 1,796,356 )
Recent downloads (6 months)11 ( #66,592 of 1,796,356 )
How can I increase my downloads?