Compatibilism and personal identity

Philosophical Studies 170 (2):317-334 (2014)
Authors
Benjamin Matheson
Stockholm University
Abstract
Compatibilists disagree over whether there are historical conditions on moral responsibility. Historicists claim there are, whilst structuralists deny this. Historicists motivate their position by claiming to avoid the counter-intuitive implications of structuralism. I do two things in this paper. First, I argue that historicism has just as counter-intuitive implications as structuralism when faced with thought experiments inspired by those found in the personal identity literature. Hence, historicism is not automatically preferable to structuralism. Second, I argue that structuralism is much more plausible once we accept that personal identity is irrelevant to moral responsibility. This paves the way for a new structuralist account that makes clear what it takes to be the diachronic ownership condition (which is normally taken to be personal identity) and the locus of moral responsibility (which is normally taken to be ‘whole’ person), and helps to alleviate the intuitive unease many have with respect to structuralism
Keywords Manipulation  Moral responsibility  Historicism  Structuralism  Personal identity  Compatibilism
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DOI 10.1007/s11098-013-0220-9
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References found in this work BETA

Living Without Free Will.Derk Pereboom - 2005 - Cambridge University Press.
Reasons and Persons.Derek Parfit - 1984 - Oxford University Press.
Freedom of the Will and the Concept of a Person.Harry G. Frankfurt - 1971 - Journal of Philosophy 68 (1):5-20.

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Citations of this work BETA

Is Blameworthiness Forever?Andrew C. Khoury & Benjamin Matheson - 2018 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 4 (2):204-224.
Manipulators and Moral Standing.Benjamin Matheson - forthcoming - Philosophia:1-18.
In Defence of the Four-Case Argument.Benjamin Matheson - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (7):1963-1982.
Self-Blaming, Repentance, and Atonement.Peter A. French - 2014 - Journal of Value Inquiry 48 (4):587-602.

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