Morally Embedded Selves and Embedded Compatibilism

Philosophica 85:67-89 (2012)
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The principal argument suggested here is that we are all morally embedded selves: We have no control over the abilities that make us moral agents nor can we control the degree to which we have these abilities; in other words, we are not responsible for our good or bad qualities as moral agents. This, I believe, calls for the adoption of embedded compatibilism (EC). According to EC, people have control over their conduct; this control, however, is embedded within prerequisites, which they cannot control and hence are not responsible for having or lacking. On the one hand, EC enables us to explain why a lack of control at the ultimate level does not eliminate moral judgment altogether. However on the other hand, EC ought to change our understanding of moral responsibility; interalia, it supports a hybrid notion of punishment, indicates the incomplete nature of guilt and reintroduces the problem of moral luck.
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