Canadian Journal of Philosophy 39 (3):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 is understood here as whatever satisfies the control condition of moral responsibility.) 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 desert  free will skepticism  moral responsibility  desert base  free will  Rawls  personhood
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ISBN(s) 0045-5091
DOI cjphil200939320
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References found in this work BETA

Anarchy, State, and Utopia.Robert Nozick - 1974 - New York: Basic Books.
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Citations of this work BETA

Persons, Punishment, and Free Will Skepticism.Benjamin Vilhauer - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 162 (2):143-163.
Free Will Agnosticism.Stephen Kearns - 2013 - Noûs 47 (2):235-252.
A Strawsonian Look at Desert.Adina L. Roskies & Bertram F. Malle - 2013 - Philosophical Explorations 16 (2):1-20.

View all 6 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

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(Un)Just Deserts: The Dark Side of Moral Responsibility.Gregg D. Caruso - 2014 - Southwest Philosophy Review 30 (1):27-38.
The Geometry of Desert.Shelly Kagan - 2005 - Oxford University Press.
Desert, Democracy, and Consumer Surplus.Teun J. Dekker - 2010 - Politics, Philosophy and Economics 9 (3):315-338.

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