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The objective attitude

Philosophical Quarterly 57 (228):321–341 (2007)

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  1. Galen Strawson is a Closet Existentialist; or, the Ballistics of Nothingness.Cruz Cora - 2017 - Comparative and Continental Philosophy 9 (1):22-42.
    The subject of free will has suffered something of a renascence in recent popularized American philosophy. The issue is, of course, a Gordian knot of underlying metaphysical and ontological presupposition, in both the analytic and continental traditions. In this paper, I attempt a bit of an untangling, and in doing so, I find that the fundamental position of the contemporary champion of “no freedom” (Galen Strawson) is not only compatible with a radical Sartrean freedom, but that the two philosophers’ deeper (...)
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  • Hard-Incompatibilist Existentialism: Neuroscience, Punishment, and Meaning in Life.Derk Pereboom & Gregg D. Caruso - 2018 - In Gregg D. Caruso & Owen Flanagan (eds.), Neuroexistentialism: Meaning, Morals, and Purpose in the Age of Neuroscience. Oxford University Press.
    As philosophical and scientific arguments for free will skepticism continue to gain traction, we are likely to see a fundamental shift in the way people think about free will and moral responsibility. Such shifts raise important practical and existential concerns: What if we came to disbelieve in free will? What would this mean for our interpersonal relationships, society, morality, meaning, and the law? What would it do to our standing as human beings? Would it cause nihilism and despair as some (...)
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  • The People Problem.Benjamin Vilhauer - 2013 - In Gregg D. Caruso (ed.), Exploring the Illusion of Free Will and Moral Responsibility. Lexington Books. pp. 141.
    One reason that many philosophers are reluctant to seriously contemplate the possibility that we lack free will seems to be the view that we must believe we have free will if we are to regard each other as persons in the morally deep sense—the sense that involves deontological notions such as human rights. In the contemporary literature, this view is often informed by P.F. Strawson's view that to treat human beings as having free will is to respond to them with (...)
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  • Free Will Skepticism and Personhood as a Desert Base.Benjamin Vilhauer - 2009 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 39 (3):pp. 489-511.
    In contemporary free will theory, a significant number of philosophers are once again taking seriously the possibility that human beings do not have free will, and are therefore not morally responsible for their actions. Free will theorists commonly assume that giving up the belief that human beings are morally responsible implies giving up all our beliefs about desert. But the consequences of giving up the belief that we are morally responsible are not quite this dramatic. Giving up the belief that (...)
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  • Reactivity and Refuge.Michelle Mason - 2014 - In David Shoemaker (ed.), Oxford Studies in Agency and Responsibility, Vol. 2. Oxford University Press. pp. 143-162.
    P.F. Strawson famously suggested that employment of the objective attitude in an intimate relationship forebodes the relationship’s demise. Relatively less remarked is Strawson's admission that the objective attitude is available as a refuge from the strains of relating to normal, mature adults as proper subjects of the reactive attitudes. I develop an account of the strategic employment of the objective attitude in such cases according to which it denies a person a power of will – authorial power – whose recognition (...)
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  • Love and Free Will.Aaron Smuts - manuscript
    Many think that love would be a casualty of free will skepticism. I disagree. I argue that love would be largely unaffected if we came to deny free will, not simply because we cannot shake the attitude, but because love is not chosen, nor do we want it to be. Here, I am not alone; others have reached similar conclusions. But a few important distinctions have been overlooked. Even if hard incompatibilism is true, not all love is equal. Although we (...)
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  • The Moral Psychology of Determinism.Jeremy Evans - 2013 - Philosophical Psychology 26 (5):639-661.
    In recent years, philosophers and psychologists have resurrected a debate at the intersection of metaphysics and moral psychology. The central question is whether we can conceive of moral agents as deterministic systems unfolding predictably and inevitably under constant laws without psychologically damaging the pro-social attitudes and moral emotions that grease the wheels of social life. These concerns are sparked by recent experiments documenting a decline in the ethical behavior of participants primed with deterministic metaphysics. But this literature has done little (...)
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  • The Agential Perspective: A Hard-Line Reply to the Four-Case Manipulation Argument.Sofia Jeppsson - 2019 - Philosophical Studies:1-17.
    One of the most influential arguments against compatibilism is Derk Pereboom’s four-case manipulation argument. Professor Plum, the main character of the thought experiment, is manipulated into doing what he does; he therefore supposedly lacks moral responsibility for his action. Since he is arguably analogous to an ordinary agent under determinism, Pereboom concludes that ordinary determined agents lack moral responsibility as well. I offer a hard-line reply to this argument, that is, a reply which denies that this kind of manipulation is (...)
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  • More Work for Hard Incompatibilism.Tamler Sommers - 2009 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 79 (3):511-521.
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  • Normativity For Naturalists.Brian Leiter - 2015 - Philosophical Issues 25 (1):64-79.
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  • P. F. Strawson’s Free Will Naturalism.Joe Campbell - 2017 - International Journal for the Study of Skepticism 7 (1):26-52.
    _ Source: _Page Count 27 This is an explication and defense of P. F. Strawson’s naturalist theory of free will and moral responsibility. I respond to a set of criticisms of the view by free will skeptics, compatibilists, and libertarians who adopt the _core assumption_: Strawson thinks that our reactive attitudes provide the basis for a rational justification of our blaming and praising practices. My primary aim is to explain and defend Strawson’s naturalism in light of criticisms based on the (...)
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  • The Power to Make Others Worship.Aaron Smuts - 2012 - Religious Studies 48 (2):221 - 237.
    Can any being worthy of worship make others worship it? I think not. By way of an analogy to love, I argue that it is perfectly coherent to think that one could be made to worship. However, forcing someone to worship violates their autonomy, not because worship must be freely given, but because forced worship would be inauthentic—much like love earned through potions. For this reason, I argue that one cannot be made to worship properly; forced worship would be unfitting. (...)
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  • After Incompatibilism: A Naturalistic Defense of the Reactive Attitudes.Shaun Nichols - 2007 - Philosophical Perspectives 21 (1):405-428.
    From the first time I encountered the problem of free will in college, it struck me that a clear-eyed view of free will and moral responsibility demanded some form of nihilism. Libertarianism seemed delusional, and compatibilism seemed in bad faith. Hence I threw my lot in with philosophers like Paul d’Holbach, Galen Strawson, and Derk Pereboom who conclude that no one is truly moral responsible. But after two decades of self- identifying as a nihilist, it occurred to me that I (...)
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  • Episodic Ethics.Galen Strawson - 2007 - Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 60:85-116.
    I guess I wont send that note now, for the mind is such a new place, last night feels obsolete.
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  • Where Love and Resentment Meet: Strawson's Intrapersonal Defense of Compatibilism.Seth Shabo - 2012 - Philosophical Review 121 (1):95-124.
    In his seminal essay “Freedom and Resentment,” Strawson drew attention to the role of such emotions as resentment, moral indignation, and guilt in our moral and personal lives. According to Strawson, these reactive attitudes are at once constitutive of moral blame and inseparable from ordinary interpersonal relationships. On this basis, he concluded that relinquishing moral blame isn’t a real possibility for us, given our commitment to personal relationships. If well founded, this conclusion puts the traditional free-will debate in a new (...)
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  • More Work for Hard Incompatibilism.Tamler Sommers - 2009 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 79 (3):511-521.
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  • Hard Incompatibilism and the Participant Attitude.D. Justin Coates - 2018 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 49 (2):208-229.
    ABSTRACTFollowing P. F. Strawson, a number of philosophers have argued that if hard incompatibilism is true, then its truth would undermine the justification or value of our relationships with other persons. In this paper, I offer a novel defense of this claim. In particular, I argue that if hard incompatibilism is true, we cannot make sense of: the possibility of promissory obligation, the significance of consent, or the pro tanto wrongness of paternalistic intervention. Because these practices and normative commitments are (...)
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  • In Defense of Non-Reactive Attitudes.Per-Erik Milam - 2017 - Philosophical Explorations 20 (3):294-307.
    Abolitionism is the view that if no one is responsible, then we ought to abandon the reactive attitudes. Proponents suggest that reactive attitudes can be replaced in our emotional repertoire by non-reactive analogues. In this paper, I dispute and reject a common challenge to abolitionism according to which the reactive attitudes are necessary for protesting unfairness and maintaining social harmony. While other abolitionists dispute the empirical basis of this objection, I focus on its implications. I argue that even if non-reactive (...)
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  • Reactive Attitudes and Personal Relationships.Per-Erik Milam - 2016 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 46 (1):102-122.
    Abolitionism is the view that if no one is responsible, we ought to abandon the reactive attitudes. This paper defends abolitionism against the claim, made by P.F. Strawson and others, that abandoning these attitudes precludes the formation and maintenance of valuable personal relationships. These anti-abolitionists claim that one who abandons the reactive attitudes is unable to take personally others’ attitudes and actions regarding her, and that taking personally is necessary for certain valuable relationships. I dispute both claims and argue that (...)
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  • A Defense of Derk Pereboom’s Containment Policy.Jeremy Scharoun & Neil Campbell - 2016 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 19 (5):1291-1307.
    Derk Pereboom disagrees with P.F. Strawson that abandoning the reactive attitudes associated with praise and blame would come at the price of exiting our personal relationships. According to Pereboom, we can contain or modify our attitudes in ways that preserve, and perhaps even enrich interpersonal relationships. In a recent article, Seth Shabo defends “the inseparability thesis” in order to undermine Pereboom’s containment policy. Drawing on David Goldman’s work on non-antagonistic responses to wrongdoing, we defend Pereboom from Shabo’s critique.
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  • Basic Desert of Reactive Emotions.Zac Cogley - 2013 - Philosophical Explorations 16 (2):165-177.
    In this paper, I explore the idea that someone can deserve resentment or other reactive emotions for what she does by attention to three psychological functions of such emotions – appraisal, communication, and sanction – that I argue ground claims of their desert. I argue that attention to these functions helps to elucidate the moral aims of reactive emotions and to distinguish the distinct claims of desert, as opposed to other moral considerations.
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  • Incompatibilism and Personal Relationships: Another Look at Strawson's Objective Attitude.Seth Shabo - 2012 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 90 (1):131 - 147.
    In the context of his highly influential defence of compatibilism, P. F. Strawson 1962 introduced the terms "reactive attitude" and "objective attitude" to the free-will lexicon. He argued, in effect, that relinquishing such reactive attitudes as resentment and moral indignation isn't a real possibility for us, since doing so would commit us to exclusive objectivity, a stance incompatible with ordinary interpersonal relationships. While most commentators have challenged Strawson's link between personal relationships and the reactive attitudes, Tamler Sommers 2007 has taken (...)
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  • In Defense of Love Internalism.D. Justin Coates - 2013 - The Journal of Ethics 17 (3):233-255.
    In recent defenses of moral responsibility skepticism, which is the view that no human agents are morally responsible for their actions or character, a number of theorists have argued against Peter Strawson’s (and others’) claim that “the sort of love which two adults can sometimes be said to feel reciprocally, for each other” would be undermined if we were not morally responsible agents. Among them, Derk Pereboom (2001, 2009) and Tamler Sommers (2007, 2012) most forcefully argue against this conception of (...)
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  • In Defense of the No-Reasons View of Love.Aaron Smuts - manuscript
    Although we can try to explain why we love, we can never justify our love. Love is neither based on reasons, nor responsive to reasons, nor can it be assessed for normative reasons. Love can be odd, unfortunate, fortuitous, or even sadly lacking, but it can never be appropriate or inappropriate. We may have reasons to act on our love, but we cannot justify our loving feelings. Shakespeare's Bottom is right: "Reason and love keep little company together now-a-days." Indeed, they (...)
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  • Solipsismo E Reconhecimento: Metafísica Descritiva Com Rosto Humano.Jônadas Techio - 2008 - Principia: An International Journal of Epistemology 12 (2):217-235.
    The paper provides a reconstruction of Strawson’s argument in chapter 3 of Individuals, emphasizing an aspect of his analysis which has received relatively small attention in the literature: the role played by a “non-detached” or “involved” stance towards other subjects in the constitution of a non-solipsistic consciousness of the world. Additionally, the paper presents some of the main lines of development which are available to further clarify and articulate the underscored aspect of Strawson’s analysis, ending up with the suggestion that (...)
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  • Fischer’s Way: The Next Level.Saul Smilansky - 2008 - Journal of Ethics 12 (2):147-155.
    I present an analogy between analytic philosophy and a particular sort of computer game, and analyze some aspects of John Martin Fischer's My Way in the light of this analogy. I set out the different levels of the free will question, and explore how well Fischer does on them. On the compatibility level, he succeeds, in my view, in confronting the "metaphysical challenge" and the "manipulation challenge", but does less well with the "moral arbitrariness challenge". The compatibilist perspective captures only (...)
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  • Fischer's Way: The Next Level. [REVIEW]Saul Smilansky - 2008 - The Journal of Ethics 12 (2):147-155.
    I present an analogy between analytic philosophy and a particular sort of computer game, and analyze some aspects of John Martin Fischer's My Way in the light of this analogy. I set out the different levels of the free will question, and explore how well Fischer does on them. On the compatibility level, he succeeds, in my view, in confronting the "metaphysical challenge" and the "manipulation challenge", but does less well with the "moral arbitrariness challenge". The compatibilist perspective captures only (...)
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  • Free Will and Moral Responsibility: The Trap, the Appreciation of Agency, and the Bubble. [REVIEW]Saul Smilansky - 2012 - The Journal of Ethics 16 (2):211-239.
    In Part I, I reflect in some detail upon the free will problem and about the way its understanding has radically changed. First I outline the four questions that go into making the free will problem. Second, I consider four paradigmatic shifts that have occurred in our understanding of this problem. Then I go on to reflect upon this complex and multi-level situation. In Part II of this essay, I explore the major alternative positions, and defend my views, in new (...)
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  • Betting Against Compatibilism.Göran Duus-Otterström - 2010 - Res Publica 16 (4):383-396.
    Some argue that libertarianism represents the riskier incompatibilist view when it comes to the free will problem. An ethically cautious incompatibilist should bet that we are not free in the sense required for moral responsibility, these theorists claim, as doing so means that we no longer run the risk of holding the morally innocent responsible. In this paper, I show that the same reasoning also advises us to bet against compatibilism. Supposing that we are unsure about whether or not the (...)
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  • Experimental Philosophy and Free Will.Tamler Sommers - 2010 - Philosophy Compass 5 (2):199-212.
    This paper develops a sympathetic critique of recent experimental work on free will and moral responsibility. Section 1 offers a brief defense of the relevance of experimental philosophy to the free will debate. Section 2 reviews a series of articles in the experimental literature that probe intuitions about the "compatibility question"—whether we can be free and morally responsible if determinism is true. Section 3 argues that these studies have produced valuable insights on the factors that influence our judgments on the (...)
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  • Seeing Responsibility:Can Neuroimaging Teach Us Anything About Moral and Legal Responsibility?David Wasserman & Josephine Johnston - 2014 - Hastings Center Report 44 (s2):S37-S49.
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  • Hard Determinism and Punishment: A Practical Reductio. [REVIEW]Saul Smilansky - 2011 - Law and Philosophy 30 (3):353-367.
    How can hard determinism deal with the need to punish, when coupled with the obligation to be just? I argue that even though hard determinists might find it morally permissible to incarcerate wrongdoers apart from lawful society, they are committed to the punishment’s taking a very different form from common practice in contemporary Western societies. Hard determinists are in fact committed to what I will call funishment, instead of punishment. But, by its nature funishment is a practical reductio of hard (...)
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  • Brain and Mind.Cees van Leeuwen - 2013 - Philosophia Scientae 17:71-87.
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  • The Two Faces of Revenge: Moral Responsibility and the Culture of Honor.Tamler Sommers - 2009 - Biology and Philosophy 24 (1):35-50.
    Retributive emotions and behavior are thought to be adaptive for their role in improving social coordination. However, since retaliation is generally not in the short-term interests of the individual, rational self-interest erodes the motivational link between retributive emotions and the accompanying adaptive behavior. I argue that two different sets of norms have emerged to reinforce this link: (1) norms about honor and (2) norms about moral responsibility and desert. I observe that the primary difference between these types of retribution motivators (...)
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