Prolegomena 12 (1):21-41 (2013)

The concept of “moral responsibility” has almost always been defined in relation to a certain idea of metaphysical freedom and to a conception of the physical world. So, classically, for indeterminist thinkers, human beings are free and therefore responsible, if their choices are not defined by a previous state of the world but derive from an autonomous selection among a set of alternatives. Differently, for the majority of determinist philosophers , the only form of freedom we need has to be identified with freedom of the conduct, considered as opposite to any form of coercion. Some argue that, given the truth of determinism and the related suppression of concepts such as “guilt” and “praise”, or “merit” and “demerit”, morality could survive just as a utilitarian tool, even though this seems to be in conflict with our deepest feelings and practices. Considering some revisionist approaches of moral responsibility in connection with classical positions , I will reconstruct some of the attempts to release responsibility from the thematisation of freedom, exploring the possibility of redefining it as an independent concept. My conclusion is that the focus on the choice-action process and on the characteristics of the “self”, avoiding reference to alternative scenarios, could be a good starting point for elaborating a conception of what really counts for our moral life – even though, in the end, this could entail the abandonment of the traditional concept of responsibility itself
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References found in this work BETA

Freedom of the Will and the Concept of a Person.Harry G. Frankfurt - 1971 - Journal of Philosophy 68 (1):5-20.
Freedom and Resentment.Peter Strawson - 1962 - Proceedings of the British Academy 48:187-211.
Freedom of the Will and the Concept of a Person.Harry Frankfurt - 2004 - In Tim Crane & Katalin Farkas (eds.), Metaphysics: A Guide and Anthology. Oxford University Press.
Two Faces of Responsibility.Gary Watson - 1996 - Philosophical Topics 24 (2):227-248.

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