Morality without responsibility

Abstract
Morality as we know it seems inextricably involved with notions of responsibility, desert, and blame. But a number of philosophers (e.g., Pereboom, G. Strawson) have concluded that responsibility in the desert-supporting sense rests upon metaphysical presuppositions that are unsatisfiable whether or not determinism is true. Some of these philosophers go on to argue that we ought - morally ought - to discard the idea of moral responsibility. Is this proposal coherent? Could morality intelligibly be practiced in a way that dispenses altogether with praise, blame, resentment, and desert - the concepts that constitute what we understand as holding agents morally responsible for their deeds? I distinguish three aspects of moral practice, which I term "naming," "shaming," and "blaming." Of the three, only the last, blaming, implicates the idea of moral - as opposed to merely causal - responsibility. I defend what I term the "Enlightened View" that accepts naming and shaming as essential to morality, but holds blaming to be inessential. I distinguish the Enlightened View from the "Abolitionist View" that holds blaming to be not merely inessential to morality but undesirable and unworthy. Crucial to the defense of the Enlightened View is an account of moral guidance restricted to the devices of naming and shaming. This discussion uncovers a very weak sense of blame and desert implicit in the practice of morality - one too weak to require any major qualification of the Enlightened and Abolitionist Views. I conclude by defending the Enlightened View against the charge (by e.g. Smilansky) that it would diminish our conception of ourselves as persons.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
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
Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 28,208
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.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Diagnosing Blame: Responsibility and the Psychopath.Carl Elliott - 1992 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 17 (2):199-214.
Defending Hard Incompatibilism.Derk Pereboom - 2005 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 29 (1):228-247.
Responsibility for Health and Blaming Victims.Mike W. Martin - 2001 - Journal of Medical Humanities 22 (2):95-114.
Moral Desert: A Critique.Howard Simmons - 2010 - University Press of America.
Review: Sher's Defense of Blame. [REVIEW]Pamela Hieronymi - 2008 - Philosophical Studies 137 (1):19-30.
Moral Responsibility and Merit.Matt King - 2012 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 6 (2).

Monthly downloads

Added to index

2009-01-28

Total downloads

40 ( #130,007 of 2,172,844 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

1 ( #324,901 of 2,172,844 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature


Discussion
Order:
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.

Other forums