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Responsibility and the moral sentiments

Author: R Jay Wallace
Publisher: Cambridge, Mass. : Harvard University Press, 1994.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
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  Read more...
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Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: R Jay Wallace
ISBN: 0674766229 9780674766228
OCLC Number: 30436078
Description: xii, 275 pages ; 25 cm
Contents: 1. Introduction. 1.1. The Problem. 1.2. The Solution. 1.3. Prospectus --
2. Emotions and Expectations. 2.1. The Approach Sketched. 2.2. Narrowing the Class. 2.3. Reactive and Nonreactive, Moral and Nonmoral. 2.4. Irrational Guilt --
3. Responsibility. 3.1. Responsibility, Blame, and Moral Sanction. 3.2. Responsibility and the Reactive Emotions. 3.3. The Reactive Account and Moral Judgment --
4. Methodological Interlude. 4.1. Understanding the Debate. 4.2. Strawson's Arguments. 4.3. Fairness. 4.4. Strategies --
5. Blameworthiness and the Excuses. 5.1. Excuses and Intentions. 5.2. Qualities of Will. 5.3. A Typology of Excuses. 5.4. Determinism and Excuses --
6. Accountability and the Exemptions. 6.1. Exemptions and Abilities. 6.2. Exemptions: Some Cases. 6.3. Determinism and Rational Powers. 6.4. Comparisons and Contrasts --
7. The Lure of Liberty. 7.1. Avoidability and Harm. 7.2. Opportunity and Possibility. 7.3. Difficulty and Control. 7.4. Oughts and Cans --
8. Conclusion --
Appendix 1: Further Emotional Vicissitudes --
Appendix 2: Alternate Possibilities.
Responsibility: R. Jay Wallace.

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This text argues that moral accountability hinges on questions such as when is it fair to hold people morally responsible for what they do? The fairness of holding people responsible depends on their  Read more...

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This is an excellent book. It is innovative in scope and carefully argued throughout. [It] recasts the debate between compatibilists and incompatibilists as a normative debate about the conditions Read more...

 
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    schema:description "1. Introduction. 1.1. The Problem. 1.2. The Solution. 1.3. Prospectus -- 2. Emotions and Expectations. 2.1. The Approach Sketched. 2.2. Narrowing the Class. 2.3. Reactive and Nonreactive, Moral and Nonmoral. 2.4. Irrational Guilt -- 3. Responsibility. 3.1. Responsibility, Blame, and Moral Sanction. 3.2. Responsibility and the Reactive Emotions. 3.3. The Reactive Account and Moral Judgment -- 4. Methodological Interlude. 4.1. Understanding the Debate. 4.2. Strawson's Arguments. 4.3. Fairness. 4.4. Strategies -- 5. Blameworthiness and the Excuses. 5.1. Excuses and Intentions. 5.2. Qualities of Will. 5.3. A Typology of Excuses. 5.4. Determinism and Excuses -- 6. Accountability and the Exemptions. 6.1. Exemptions and Abilities. 6.2. Exemptions: Some Cases."@en ;
    schema:description "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."@en ;
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