Review of Metaphysics 74 (1):150-153 (2020)

Contra the dominant readings, Hieronymi—refusing to sideline concerns of metaphysics for the impasse of normativity—argues that the core of Strawson's argument in "Freedom and Resentment" rests on an implicit and overlooked metaphysics of morals grounded in social naturalism, focusing her discussion on Strawson's conception of objective attitudes. The objective attitude deals with exemption, rather than excuse. This distinction is critical to Strawson's picture of responsibility: In addition to our personal reactive attitudes are their impersonal or vicarious analogues. There are two such cases: first, cases where we suspend or modify reactive attitudes due to error about the quality of the will. In these cases of excuse, we might include an actor who we learn was innocently ignorant, or whose behavior was an accident, and so we see that he or she really meant no harm. Consequently, we exculpate the injury in question. In cases of excuse, we are mistaken about the quality of the actor's will and, thus, our reactive attitude changes, but the moral demands stay. However, one might view other people as equipped with mental attributes and as people about whom one is disposed not to indulge in with those reactive attitudes of resentment, approbation, and so on; this involves viewing others objectively. We encounter these scenarios in the case of small children, people suffering from dementia, or those with forms of other serious mental illness. This second category involves exemption: Rather than reacting with the corresponding reactive attitudes, we view those actors—who lack the capacities required to fit into the usual system tolerably well—objectively, thereby exempting them from the usual demands of ordinary interpersonal relating.
Keywords Strawson  P.F. Strawson  Compatibilism  Hieronymi  Kant  Categorical Imperative  Neo-Kantianism  Ekin Erkan  Freedom and Resentment  Free Will
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