Harvard University Press (1994)

Authors
R. Jay Wallace
University of California, Berkeley
Abstract
R. Jay Wallace argues in this book that moral accountability hinges on questions of fairness: When is it fair to hold people morally responsible for what they do? Would it be fair to do so even in a deterministic world? To answer these questions, we need to understand what we are doing when we hold people morally responsible, a stance that Wallace connects with a central class of moral sentiments, those of resentment, indignation, and guilt. To hold someone responsible, he argues, is to be subject to these reactive emotions in one's dealings with that person. Developing this theme with unusual sophistication, he offers a new interpretation of the reactive emotions and traces their role in our practices of blame and moral sanction. With this account in place, Wallace advances a powerful and sustained argument against the common view that accountability requires freedom of will. Instead, he maintains, the fairness of holding people responsible depends on their rational competence: the power to grasp moral reasons and to control their behavior accordingly. He shows how these forms of rational competence are compatible with determinism. At the same time, giving serious consideration to incompatibilist concerns, Wallace develops a compelling diagnosis of the common assumption that freedom is necessary for responsibility. Rigorously argued, eminently readable, this book touches on issues of broad concern to philosophers, legal theorists, political scientists, and anyone with an interest in the nature and limits of responsibility.
Keywords Responsibility  Emotivism
Categories (categorize this paper)
Reprint years 1994, 1996, 1998
Buy this book $10.95 used (71% off)   $38.00 new   Amazon page
Call number BJ1451.W27 1994
ISBN(s) 0674766237   0674766229   9780674766235
DOI 10.2307/2956371
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 69,257
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Free Will.Timothy O'Connor & Christopher Evan Franklin - 2018 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Moral Luck and The Unfairness of Morality.Robert J. Hartman - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (12):3179-3197.
I Ought, Therefore I Can.Peter B. M. Vranas - 2007 - Philosophical Studies 136 (2):167-216.
There is a Distinctively Epistemic Kind of Blame.Cameron Boult - 2021 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 103 (3):518-534.
Hypocrisy and the Standing to Blame.Kyle G. Fritz & Daniel Miller - 2018 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 99 (1):118-139.

View all 390 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Analytics

Added to PP index
2009-01-28

Total views
404 ( #24,098 of 2,499,776 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
27 ( #32,415 of 2,499,776 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes