What Makes the Free Will Debate Substantive?
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.
KeywordsBasic desert Basic fairness Moral responsibility Free will Compatibilism Incompatibilism Free will skepticism Blame
- Dennett, Daniel. 1984. Elbow Room. Cambridge: MIT Press.Google Scholar
- Feinberg, Joel. 1970. Justice and personal desert. In His Doing and Deserving, 55–94. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
- Pereboom, Derk. 2013. Free Will Skepticism, Blame, and Obligation. In Blame: Its Nature and Norms, edited by D. J. Coates and N. A. Tognazzini, 189–206.Google Scholar
- Pereboom, Derk. 2017. Responsibility, Regret, and Protest. In Oxford Studies in Agency and Responsibility, vol. 4, ed. David Shoemaker, 121–140 Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Sartorio, Carolina. 2016. Causation and Responsibility. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Scanlon, T.M. 1998. What We Owe to Each Other. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
- Smith, Angela. 2013. Moral Blame and Moral Protest. In Blame: Its Nature and Norms, ed. D.J. Coates and N.A. Tognazzini, 27–48. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Wallace, R.Jay. 1994. Responsibility and the Moral Sentiments. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar