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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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Does Moral Responsibility Promote Respect?

Does Moral Responsibility Promote Respect?

(p.239) 13 Does Moral Responsibility Promote Respect?
Against Moral Responsibility

Bruce N. Waller

The MIT Press

This chapter presents more arguments that stem from the systemic assumption of moral responsibility in addition to those already discussed in the previous chapters. The elitism argument is also based on the assumption that anyone not held morally responsible must be categorized as profoundly flawed and thus excused. Legal theorist and philosopher Michael Moore offers the most impressive version of the elitism argument, which is a part of his argument against the moral legitimacy of feeling sympathy for those who commit criminal acts. Moore further states that those who feel sympathy for the disadvantaged criminal are motivated by an elitist view that the criminal is not worthy of being held to the same moral standards we set for ourselves.

Keywords:   systemic assumption of moral responsibility, elitism argument, legal theorist, Michael Moore, elitist view, moral standards

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