Making Sense of Freedom and Responsibility

Paperback | September 1, 2013

byDana Kay Nelkin

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Dana Kay Nelkin presents a simple and natural account of freedom and moral responsibility which responds to the great variety of challenges to the idea that we are free and responsible, before ultimately reaffirming our conception of ourselves as agents. Making Sense of Freedom andResponsibility begins with a defense of the rational abilities view, according to which one is responsible for an action if and only if one acts with the ability to recognize and act for good reasons. The view is compatibilist - that is, on the view defended, responsibility is compatible withdeterminism - and one of its striking features is a certain asymmetry: it requires the ability to do otherwise for responsibility when actions are praiseworthy, but not when they are blameworthy. In defending and elaborating the view, Nelkin questions long-held assumptions such as those concerning the relation between fairness and blame and the nature of so-called reactive attitudes such as resentment and forgiveness. Her argument not only fits with a metaphysical picture of causation -agent-causation - often assumed to be available only to incompatibilist accounts, but receives positive support from the intuitively appealing Ought Implies Can Principle, and establishes a new interpretation of freedom and moral responsibility that dovetails with a compelling account of ourinescapable commitments as rational agents.

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Dana Kay Nelkin presents a simple and natural account of freedom and moral responsibility which responds to the great variety of challenges to the idea that we are free and responsible, before ultimately reaffirming our conception of ourselves as agents. Making Sense of Freedom andResponsibility begins with a defense of the rational ab...

Dana Kay Nelkin is an Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of California, San Diego. She received her PhD from UCLA, and her BA from the University of Texas. She is the author of a series of articles on freedom and responsibility, as well as on other topics, including self-deception and the lottery paradox about the nat...
Format:PaperbackDimensions:208 pages, 8.5 × 5.51 × 0.01 inPublished:September 1, 2013Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199684766

ISBN - 13:9780199684762

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Table of Contents

Introduction1. A Rational Abilities View of Responsibility2. Deep Assessment and Good Action3. Abilities4. A Compatibilist Account of Agent Causation5. A Rationale for the Rational Abilities View: Praise, Blame, and the Ought Implies Can Principle6. Deliberation and Alternatives7. The Sense of Freedom, or Acting under the Idea of FreedomConcluding ThoughtsBibliographyIndex

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"profound ... exemplary for its rigorous examination and thought-provoking ideas." --Metapsychology Online Reviews