The Reason View and "the Morality System"

In Michael Frauchiger & Markus Stepanians (eds.), Themes from Wolf (forthcoming)
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Abstract

This paper examines Susan Wolf's accout of "the Reason View" of moral responsibility as articulated and defended in 'Freedom Within Reason' (OUP 1990). The discussion turns on two questions about the Reason View: (1) Does the Reason View aim to satisfy what Bernard Williams describes as “morality” and its (“peculiar”) conception of responsibility and blame? (2) If it does, how successful is the Reason View judged in these terms? It is argued that if the Reason View aims to satisfy “morality” in respect of its understanding of deserved blame -- as it seems to -- then it fails for reasons similar to those that apply to R. J. Wallace’s 'rational self-control' model. On the other hand, if Wolf’s Reason View does not aim to satisfy “morality” in this respect then it might well rest satisfied with the more limited conditions of Wallace’s Rational Self-Control model, which in contrast with the Reason View, does not appeal to the (problematic) apparatus of asymmetry and PAP.

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Paul Russell
Lund University

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