Reforming responsibility practices without skepticism

Philosophical Psychology (NA):1-17 (2022)
  Copy   BIBTEX


Derk Pereboom and Gregg Caruso argue that humans are never morally responsible for their actions and take that thesis as a starting point for a project whose ultimate goal is the reform of responsibility practices, which include expressions of praise, blame, and the institution of legal punishment. This paper shares the skeptical concern that current responsibility practices can be suboptimal and in need of change, but argues that a non-skeptical pursuit of those changes is viable and more promising. The main lines of the argument are developed by assessing the prospects of implementing one of the changes favored within the skeptical project (namely, the reduction of punishment severity) in light of how human moral psychology works. An original vignette experiment (N = 180; participants from Facebook groups related to Brazilian universities) asked participants to recommend sentences for a fictitious criminal after considering alternatives to regular punishment that varied in their effectiveness to prevent reoffending. The results suggest that people can become less punitive even if they continue to believe in moral responsibility and free will. The paper further argues that reforming responsibility practices is more likely to occur without the endorsement of skepticism.



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 91,386

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Questions for a Science of Moral Responsibility.Marcelo Fischborn - 2018 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 9 (2):381-394.
Just Deserts: Debating Free Will.Gregg D. Caruso & Daniel C. Dennett - 2021 - 2021: Polity. Edited by Gregg D. Caruso.
(Un)just Deserts: The Dark Side of Moral Responsibility.Gregg D. Caruso - 2014 - Southwest Philosophy Review 30 (1):27-38.
Skepticism About Moral Responsibility.Gregg D. Caruso - 2018 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (2018):1-81.
Self-Blame and Moral Responsibility.Andreas Carlsson (ed.) - 2022 - New York, USA: Cambridge University Press.
Is Neuroscience Relevant to Our Moral Responsibility Practices?Joseph Vukov - 2014 - Journal of Cognition and Neuroethics 2 (2):61-82.
Responsibility and the Limits of Conversation.Manuel R. Vargas - 2016 - Criminal Law and Philosophy 10 (2):221-240.
The Facts and Practices of Moral Responsibility.Benjamin De Mesel & Sybren Heyndels - 2019 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 100 (3):790-811.
Précis of Derk Pereboom’s Free Will, Agency, and Meaning in Life.Gregg Caruso - 2014 - Science, Religion and Culture 1 (3):178-201.


Added to PP

28 (#555,203)

6 months
13 (#182,749)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?