I will argue that a desert-based justification for treating a person in a certain way is a justification that holds this treatment to be justified simply by what the person is like and what he or she has done, independent of (1) the fact that treating the person in this way will have good effects (or that treating people like him or her in this way will have such effects); (2) the fact that this treatment is called for by some (...) (justified) institution or practice; or (3) the fact that the person could have avoided being subject to this treatment by choosing appropriately, and therefore cannot complain of it. I will explore the implications of this understanding of desert for the role of desert-based justifications of blame, punishment, and economic reward. (shrink)
Argues that there is a puzzle about how our own thick concepts, which motivate us simply because they are our own, can be legitimated in any stronger sense than that, from a perspective which is not an “insider perspective.”.
This sense of attributability, or internality, is the quarry in many of Frankfurt's articles, and it has proved to be an elusive one. In this paper I want to explore, in a tentative fashion, the question of why we should be interested in finding this quarry. It seems to me that there are at least two quite distinct kinds of reason for this concern, and that when they are distinguished the problem may look less difficult than it has seemed.
Knobe reports that subjects' judgments of whether an agent did something intentionally vary depending on whether the outcome in question was seen by them as good or as bad. He concludes that subjects' moral views affect their judgments about intentional action. This conclusion appears to follow only if different meanings of “intention” are overlooked.