structure for 'Metaethics'    |     alphabetical list of themes    |     expand these ideas

22. Metaethics / B. Basis of Ethics / 5. Moral Responsibility

[freedom needed for moral praise and blame]

23 ideas
Actions are influenced by circumstances, so Cyrenaics say felons should be reformed, not hated [Diog. Laertius on Aristippus young]
It was Epicurus who made the question of the will's freedom central to ethics [Grayling on Epicurus]
Rewards and punishments are not deserved if they don't arise from free movement of the mind [Boethius]
Without free will not only is ethical action meaningless, but also planning, commanding, praising and blaming [Aquinas]
Rules and duties are based on the will, as that is all we control [Montaigne]
Humans are moral, and capable of reward and punishment, because of memory and self-consciousness [Jolley on Leibniz]
If you deny all necessity and causation, then our character is not responsible for our crime [Hume]
Repentance gets rid of guilt, which shows that responsibility arose from the criminal principles in the mind [Hume]
Without freedom of will actions lack moral significance [Rousseau]
It is a crime for someone with a violent disposition to get drunk [Mill]
The history of morality rests on an error called 'responsibility', which rests on an error called 'free will' [Nietzsche]
It is absurd to blame nature and necessity; we should no more praise actions than we praise plants or artworks [Nietzsche]
Ceasing to believe in human responsibility is bitter, if you had based the nobility of humanity on it [Nietzsche]
The doctrine of free will has been invented essentially in order to blame and punish people [Nietzsche]
None of the ancients had the courage to deny morality by denying free will [Nietzsche]
A man is a responsible agent to the extent he has an intention, and knows what he is doing [Hampshire]
A 'wanton' is not a person, because they lack second-order volitions [Frankfurt]
A person may be morally responsible without free will [Frankfurt]
Blame usually has no effect if the recipient thinks it unjustified [Williams,B]
Blame partly rests on the fiction that blamed agents always know their obligations [Williams,B]
The chain of consequences may not be the same as the chain of responsibility [Graham]
We can't criticise people because of unforeseeable consequences [Graham]
Responsibility is unprovoked foreseeable harm, against society, arising from vicious character [Kekes]