Responsibility Skepticism and Strawson’s Naturalism: Review Essay on Pamela Hieronymi, Freedom, Resentment & The Metaphysics of Morals (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2020).

Ethics 131 (4):754-776 (2021)
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Abstract

There are few who would deny that P. F. Strawson’s “Freedom and Resentment” (1962) ranks among the most significant contributions to modern moral philosophy. Although any number of essays have been devoted to it, Pamela Hieronymi’s 'Freedom, Resentment, and the Metaphysics of Morals' is the first book-length study. The aim of Hieronymi’s study is to show that Strawson’s “central argument” has been “underestimated and misunderstood.” Hieronymi interprets this argument in terms of what she describes as Strawson’s “social naturalism”. Understood this way, Hieronymi maintains, “the argument is powerful”. In what follows I argue that while Hieronymi’s discussion is stimulating and provides valuable insights into “Freedom and Resentment,” neither the interpretation advanced nor the social naturalist position that it describes is convincing.

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Paul Russell
Lund University

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