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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1974/5918

Title: Moral Responsibility and Preconditions of Moral Criticism
Authors: Farzam-Kia, Arash

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Keywords: Free will
Moral responsibility
Determinism
Mechanism
Peter Strawson
Moral Sense
David Hume
Immanuel Kant
Issue Date: 2010
Series/Report no.: Canadian theses
Abstract: Traditionally, the central threat to the defensibility of the range of practices and attitudes constitutive of moral criticism has been seen to be posed by the Causal Thesis, the view that all actions have antecedent causes to which they are linked by causal laws of the kind that govern other events in the universe. In such a world, agents lack the sort of underived origination and agency required for the appropriateness of moral criticism. However, Peter Strawson’s “Freedom and Resentment” marks a move away from a metaphysical conception of agency and conditions of the appropriateness of moral criticism. On Strawson’s account, the problem of moral responsibility is centrally a normative problem, a problem about the moral norms that govern interpersonal relationships, and the conditions of appropriateness of the range of attitudes and sentiments occasioned by the agents’ fulfillment or non-fulfillment of these norms. In this dissertation I argue that the success of normative conceptions of conditions of appropriateness of moral criticism is contingent of the amelioration of the tension between two strategies in “Freedom and Resentment.” Naturalist interpretations hold that sentiments and practices constitutive of moral criticism are natural features of human psychological constitution, and therefore neither allow nor require justification. Rationalist interpretation, by contrast, are based on an analysis of conditions under which moral criticism can be justifiably modified or suspended. Both of these strategies, I argue, are false. The naturalistic interpretation is false not because of its inability to offer a plausible account of the conditions of justifiability of reactive attitudes, but rather because of its inability to offer a principled account of the way moral norms are grounded. The rationalistic interpretation, in turn, not only relies on an implausible psychological account of conditions of responsible agency, but puts an unacceptable emphasis on the agent’s intention. A plausible interpretation of the normative strategy requires emphasizing not only the significance of attitudes and feelings, but also the role reasons play in constituting moral norms and justifying moral criticism
Description: Thesis (Ph.D, Philosophy) -- Queen's University, 2010-07-05 16:42:43.601
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1974/5918
Appears in Collections:Queen's Theses & Dissertations
Philosophy Graduate Theses

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