Regretting the Impossible

In Jacob Goodson (ed.), William James, Moral Philosophy, and the Ethical Life. Lanham: Lexington Books. pp. 121-139 (2018)
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In his classic essay, "The Dilemma of Determinism", William James argues that the truth of determinism would make regret irrational. Given the central role of regret in our moral lives, James concludes that determinism is false. In this paper I explore the attitude of regret and show that James's argument is mistaken. Not only can we rationally regret events that were determined to occur, but we can also rationally regret events that had to occur.
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Archival date: 2018-02-27
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