Leigh Vicens
Augustana University
In this essay, I argue that if we assume with free will skeptics that people lack moral responsibility, or at least a central form of it, we may still maintain that people are ‘basically’ deserving of certain treatment in response to their behavior. I characterize basic-desert justifications for treatment negatively, as justifications that do not depend on consequentialist, contractualist, or relational considerations. Appealing to attributionist accounts of responsibility as well as the symbolic value of protest, I identify protest as a response that may be basically deserved even in the absence of free will, on the grounds that it is a fitting response to the intrinsic features of agents and their actions. The position defended is not a standard form of semi-compatibilism as it allows that some responses to behavior—such as punishment—that would be basically deserved were people free are not basically deserved in the absence of free will.
Keywords free will skepticism  moral responsibility  basic desert  attributionism  protest
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DOI 10.1017/apa.2022.7
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References found in this work BETA

Two Faces of Responsibility.Gary Watson - 1996 - Philosophical Topics 24 (2):227-248.
The Impossibility of Moral Responsibility.Galen J. Strawson - 1994 - Philosophical Studies 75 (1-2):5-24.
Moral Blame and Moral Protest.Angela Smith - 2013 - In D. Justin Coates & Neal A. Tognazzini (eds.), Blame: Its Nature and Norms. Oxford University Press.

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