Canadian Journal of Philosophy 39 (3):pp. 489-511 (2009)

Authors
Benjamin Vilhauer
City College of New York (CUNY)
Abstract
In contemporary free will theory, a significant number of philosophers are once again taking seriously the possibility that human beings do not have free will, and are therefore not morally responsible for their actions. Free will theorists commonly assume that giving up the belief that human beings are morally responsible implies giving up all our beliefs about desert. But the consequences of giving up the belief that we are morally responsible are not quite this dramatic. Giving up the belief that we are morally responsible undermines many, and perhaps most, of the desert claims we are pretheoretically inclined to accept. But it does not undermine desert claims based on the sheer fact of personhood. Even in the absence of belief in moral responsibility, personhood-based desert claims require us to respect persons and their rights. So personhood-based desert claims can provide a substantial role for desert in free will skeptics' ethical theories.
Keywords free will skepticism  free will  Kant  persons  personhood  desert  rights
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ISBN(s) 0045-5091
DOI 10.1353/cjp.0.0052
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References found in this work BETA

The Significance of Free Will.Robert Kane - 1996 - Oxford University Press USA.
The Sources of Normativity.Christine M. Korsgaard - 1996 - Cambridge University Press.
Living Without Free Will.Derk Pereboom - 2001 - Cambridge 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

Skepticism About Moral Responsibility.Gregg D. Caruso - 2018 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (2018):1-81.
Free Will Agnosticism.Stephen Kearns - 2013 - Noûs 47 (2):235-252.
Persons, Punishment, and Free Will Skepticism.Benjamin Vilhauer - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 162 (2):143-163.
A Strawsonian Look at Desert.Adina L. Roskies & Bertram F. Malle - 2013 - Philosophical Explorations 16 (2):1-20.

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The Geometry of Desert.Shelly Kagan - 2005 - Oxford University Press.
Just Deserts and Needs.Gillian Brock - 1999 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 37 (2):165-188.
Desert Tracks Character Alone.Stephen Kershnar - 2008 - International Journal of Applied Philosophy 22 (1):71-88.
Persons, Punishment, and Free Will Skepticism.Benjamin Vilhauer - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 162 (2):143-163.

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