Hard Determinism, Remorse, and Virtue Ethics

Southern Journal of Philosophy 42 (4):547-564 (2004)
Abstract
When hard determinists reject the claim that people deserve particular kinds of treatment because of how they have acted, they are left with a problem about remorse. Remorse is often represented as a way we impose retribution on ourselves when we understand that we have acted badly. (This view of remorse appears in the work of Freud, and I think it fits our everyday, pretheoretical understanding of one kind of remorse.) Retribution of any kind cannot be appropriate if we do not deserve bad treatment because of how we have acted. But remorse seems to be essentially bound up with understanding that we have acted badly. If this is right, it is important for hard determinists to find a non-retributive account of remorse, so that they can accommodate remorse within their theories. My goal in this paper is to provide such an account. I describe a kind of remorse which I think is a common human experience, a kind which is based on suffering in sympathy with the person one has wronged. It is similar to suffering in sympathy with one's friends when they suffer. We suffer in sympathy with friends not because we think we deserve to, but because we care about them, and their suffering gives us pain. In the wake of a wrongful act, a "virtuous wrongdoer" comes to care about the person wronged, and suffers in sympathy with him. This kind of remorse can be accommodated by hard determinists.
Keywords free will  hard determinism  reactive attitudes  remorse  virtue ethics  sympathy  empathy
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
 
Download options
PhilPapers Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 10,273
External links
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

No citations found.

Similar books and articles
Analytics

Monthly downloads

Added to index

2009-04-11

Total downloads

29 ( #56,515 of 1,096,251 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

5 ( #41,639 of 1,096,251 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature


Discussion
Start a new thread
Order:
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.