The Journal of Ethics 17 (3):233-255 (2013)

D. Justin Coates
University of Houston
In recent defenses of moral responsibility skepticism, which is the view that no human agents are morally responsible for their actions or character, a number of theorists have argued against Peter Strawson’s (and others’) claim that “the sort of love which two adults can sometimes be said to feel reciprocally, for each other” would be undermined if we were not morally responsible agents. Among them, Derk Pereboom (2001, 2009) and Tamler Sommers (2007, 2012) most forcefully argue against this conception of love. However, in this paper, I plan to defend the claim that there is an essential connection between love and moral responsibility, a thesis I will call love internalism. To begin, I will specify the content and scope of love internalism, and consider ways in which other theorists have attempted to motivate it. I will then consider the various arguments that Pereboom and Sommers advance against love internalism. These arguments, it seems to me, offer us powerful reasons to reject several of the ways in which philosophers have tried to connect moral responsibility to love. Consequently, in light of these criticisms, I will further precisify the content of love internalism. And as we will see, love internalism (as I argue for it) is immune to Pereboom’s and Sommers’ criticisms. Moreover, when its content is sufficiently clarified, love internalism can serve as a plausible premise in an anti-skeptical argument. I thus conclude by arguing that this suitably reformulated statement of love internalism offers a significant challenge to moral responsibility skepticism of the sort Pereboom and Sommers endorse
Keywords Moral responsibility  Love  Moral responsibility skepticism  P. F. Strawson
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DOI 10.1007/s10892-013-9144-z
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References found in this work BETA

What We Owe to Each Other.Thomas Scanlon - 1998 - Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
Freedom and Resentment.Peter Strawson - 1962 - Proceedings of the British Academy 48:187-211.
The Significance of Free Will.Robert Kane - 1996 - Oxford University Press USA.

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Citations of this work BETA

Strawson’s Modest Transcendental Argument.D. Justin Coates - 2017 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 25 (4):799-822.
The Basic Argument and Modest Moral Responsibility.D. Justin Coates - 2017 - Analytic Philosophy 58 (2):156-170.
Hard Incompatibilism and the Participant Attitude.D. Justin Coates - 2019 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 49 (2):208-229.

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