David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 84 (1):158-186 (2012)
In this paper, I explore a new approach to the problem of determinism and moral responsibility. This approach involves asking when someone has a compelling claim to exemption against other members of the moral community. I argue that it is sometimes fair to reject such claims, even when the agent doesn’t deserve, in the sense of basic desert, to be blamed for her conduct. In particular, when an agent’s conduct reveals that her commitment to comply with the standards of the moral community is deficient, and when her demand for exemption further exemplifies this deficiency, she cannot complain of unfair treatment if her demand is rejected. To support this contention, I argue that we are sometimes justified in rejecting otherwise valid moral appeals on the grounds that they are cynically motivated, especially when an agent merely seeks to exploit our commitment to comply with reasonable interpersonal standards. An advantage of this approach is that it affords compatibilists a middle path, allowing them to defend our practice of blaming on non-consequentialist grounds of fairness, even as they acknowledge the force of arguments for incompatibilism about basic desert.
|Keywords||determinism moral responsibility intermediate compatibilism basic desert moral claimancy|
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References found in this work BETA
Christopher Bennett (2002). The Varieties of Retributive Experience. Philosophical Quarterly 52 (207):145-163.
John Martin Fischer (2006). My Way: Essays on Moral Responsibility. Oxford University Press.
John Martin Fischer & Mark Ravizza (1998). Responsibility and Control: A Theory of Moral Responsibility. Cambridge University Press.
Harry G. Frankfurt (1969). Alternate Possibilities and Moral Responsibility. Journal of Philosophy 66 (3):829-39.
Alvin I. Goldman (1970). A Theory of Human Action. Princeton University Press.
Citations of this work BETA
Seth Shabo (2012). Incompatibilism and Personal Relationships: Another Look at Strawson's Objective Attitude. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 90 (1):131 - 147.
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