Friday, July 19, 2019

Moral Sentiments and Determinism Essay -- Philosophy Philosophical Pap

ABSTRACT: P. F. Strawson’s essay "Freedom and Resentment" was a landmark in the study of determinism, free-will, and morality. It contributed a much-needed correction to the problem of overintellectualization as found in twentieth-century compatibilist literature. Although most of the central claims in Strawson’s essay are important and true, it fails to fill the lacuna in the analysis, discussion and proposals of traditional compatibilism. The reasons may be summarized as follows. The web of moral demands, feelings and participant attitudes comprises a set of facts within human social life which must be investigated in order to understand the relation (or lack thereof) between determinism and morality. If the facts themselves fill the gap, then it must be some adequate and coherent understanding of them. According to Strawson, the incompatibilist has an understandable dissatisfaction with his opponent’s account because, among other things, the latter fails to de al with the condition of desert and of the justice of moral condemnation and punishment. However, the theory of "Freedom and Resentment" fails equally on this point. What is now needed is a combination of factual study with ethical inquiry. The former would draw on the results of social psychology, the psychology of moral development, the social sciences of morals, and (philosophical) moral psychology. I In the light of a well-known distinction between participant moral attitudes and objective ones, the traditional issue of free will and morality is rephrased, in P.F.Strawson’s ‘Freedom and Resentment’ (henceforth FR), as follows: Could, or should, determinism lead us always to look on everyone exclusively in the objective way? The negative answer is defended and ... ...egal punishment, and the sociology and anthropology of morality. As far as the latter is concerned, that would amount to a sort of revival of the late l9th Century and early 20th Century studies in the social sciences of morals. In an age of multidisciplinary studies such as ours, FR may retrospectively be looked on by present-day students of our philosophical problem as containing an ‘ahead-of-its-time’ invitation, and an especially attractive one, for the philosopher to embark on such a multidisciplinary enterprise. References Honderich, T. (Ed.), Essays on Freedom of Action, Routledge and Kegan Paul, l973. Schlick, M., Problems of Ethics , Dover Publications, N.York, l939. Strawson, P.F., ‘Freedom and Resentment’ in Freedom and Resentment and other Essays, Methuen, l974 Skepticism and Naturalism: some varieties, Columbia University Press, l985.

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