PHIL 1 Lecture Notes - Lecture 5: Compatibilism, Pessimism

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15 Sep 2020
Hao Tran
Intro to Philosophy
Notes: Phil 1
Responses (redefining ‘true responsibility’)
1. Compatibilism
o One can be free and morally responsible even if determinism is true (Leibniz)
Freedom is just being able to act in accordance to your desires
Morally responsible for acts you freely choose
If determinism is true, then how can one be justly punished for anything?
Objection to compatibilism
Is our ignorance of determination compatible with the fairness of our moral practices?
Even though we don’t know our actions our determined, does that make it
fair or just to be punished for anything?
1. Libertarianism
o We are free and responsible agents, and determinism is false
How does indeterminism help with moral responsibility? Does it make punishment just?
Somehow we are ultimately the causal root of ourselves
1. One can be truly morally responsible and free because one’s self (S) is independent of
one’s character, personality, motivational structure (CPM)
o But S decides b/c of the way it is
o To be truly responsible, S must be responsible for being the way it is
Free will consists of the ability to override preferences and desires
But this is impossible…
Either going to end up with randomness or infinite regret
Final question:
Is self-conscious awareness of one’s situation a sufficient foundation of free will?
Even if you are aware of what you are doing, you may not be doing it freely
Strawson’s Freedom and Resentment’
1. Pessimism vs. Optimism
2. Reactive vs. objective attitudes (main focus)
a. Wants to ground notion of responsibility - ground it in actual practices
2. Considerations that remove resentment
3. Reactive attitudes and determinism
4. Strawson on freedom
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