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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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Rescuing Free Will from Moral Responsibility

Rescuing Free Will from Moral Responsibility

(p.43) 3 Rescuing Free Will from Moral Responsibility
Against Moral Responsibility

Bruce N. Waller

The MIT Press

This chapter focuses on the claim that it is possible for free will to survive without moral responsibility. Long regarded as two inseparable entities, the view that one can survive independently of the other has been met with skepticism and incredulity. C.A. Campbell contends that the connection between free will and moral responsibility is self-evident; any legitimate account of free will must support moral responsibility. Even psychiatrist and bioethicist Willard Gaylin supports Campbell’s notion, claiming that the connection is so obvious that it need only be stated. According to Gaylin, “ Freedom demands responsibility; autonomy demands culpability.” The unbreakable link between free will and moral responsibility is an article of philosophical faith, and dissent from that orthodoxy requires explanation. Providing this explanation is the main goal in this chapter.

Keywords:   free will, moral responsibility, C.A. Campbell, Willard Gaylin, freedom, autonomy, culpability, philosophical faith

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