Philosophical Explorations 12 (2):151 – 165 (2009)

Authors
Dana Kay Nelkin
University of California, San Diego
Abstract
In this paper, I begin by considering a traditional argument according to which it would be unfair to impose sanctions on people for performing actions when they could not do otherwise, and thus that no one who lacks the ability to do otherwise is responsible or blameworthy for his or her actions in an important sense. Interestingly, a parallel argument concluding that people are not responsible or praiseworthy if they lack the ability to do otherwise is not as compelling. Watson, recently, offers in its stead an 'interpersonal' argument that appeals to a distributive notion of unfairness to conclude that praiseworthy actions, too, require the ability to do otherwise. I argue that this argument does not succeed. At this point, it seems that we have support for an asymmetrical treatment of blameworthy and praiseworthy actions. However, I conclude that while such an asymmetrical treatment may ultimately be correct, there is reason to doubt that considerations of fairness of sanction and reward support an asymmetry as well as an appeal to the 'ought-implies-can' principle
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1080/13869790902838506
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 62,401
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

What We Owe to Each Other.Thomas Scanlon - 1998 - Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
What We Owe to Each Other.Thomas Scanlon - 2002 - Mind 111 (442):323-354.

View all 35 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Analytics

Added to PP index
2010-05-07

Total views
56 ( #188,862 of 2,445,477 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #457,040 of 2,445,477 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes