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The Journal of Ethics

, Volume 23, Issue 3, pp 257–264 | Cite as

What Makes the Free Will Debate Substantive?

  • Derk PereboomEmail author
Article

Abstract

Contrary to what I have contended, Michael McKenna argues that basic desert does not have an essential role in the free will debate. On his alternative construal, what is central is whether our practice of holding morally responsible, and blaming in particular, can be justified, and what notion of free will is required for that justification. Notions distinct from basic desert can ground our practice, and so the free will debate is independent of basic desert. Here I argue that the one best candidate for such a notion is basic fairness, but in the area of moral responsibility there is no substantial difference between basic desert and basic fairness.

Keywords

Basic desert Basic fairness Moral responsibility Free will Compatibilism Incompatibilism Free will skepticism Blame 

Notes

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyCornell UniversityIthacaUSA

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