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Against Moral Responsibility$
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Bruce N. Waller

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780262016599

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: August 2013

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262016599.001.0001

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What Does Not Follow from the Denial of Moral Responsibility

What Does Not Follow from the Denial of Moral Responsibility

Living Morally without Moral Responsibility

(p.179) 10 What Does Not Follow from the Denial of Moral Responsibility
Against Moral Responsibility

Bruce N. Waller

The MIT Press

This chapter discusses the widely held premise that moral judgments require moral responsibility as a necessary condition. This premise occurs in philosophical arguments in two ways, first of which is in arguments from the existence of moral judgments to the existence of moral responsibility. In other words, as Kant has also stated, the moral law obligates us to live morally and be better, and therefore “it follows inevitably that we must be able to be better men.” The second use of this premise is in arguing that the denial of moral responsibility has grave implications that moral responsibility abolitionists have failed to recognize and address. Because no one who recognizes these flagrant consequences can really accept them, moral responsibility must be upheld at all costs—even at the cost of embracing illusion or refusing to consider the rejection of moral responsibility.

Keywords:   moral judgments, moral responsibility, Kant, moral law, moral responsibility abolitionists, embracing illusion

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