Beyond Verbal Disputes: The Compatibilism Debate Revisited

Schulte P (2014)
Erkenntnis 79(3): 669-685.

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Zeitschriftenaufsatz | Veröffentlicht | Englisch
Abstract / Bemerkung
The compatibilism debate revolves around the question whether moral responsibility and free will are compatible with determinism. Prima facie, this seems to be a substantial issue. But according to the triviality objection, the disagreement is merely verbal: compatibilists and incompatibilists, it is maintained, are talking past each other, since they use the terms "free will" and "moral responsibility" in different senses. In this paper I argue, first, that the triviality objection is indeed a formidable one and that the standard replies to it are unconvincing. This, however, does not mean that the objection succeeds. Starting with the debate about moral responsibility, I attempt to show that there is an account of moral responsibility which enables us to defend the compatibilism debate against the charge of triviality-namely, the normative conception of moral responsibility. If "moral responsibility" is defined in normative terms, then we cannot distinguish between a compatibilist and an incompatibilist sense of "moral responsibility", because such a disambiguation would be inconsistent with the essential action-guiding force of normative expressions. Finally, I examine how the normative conception of moral responsibility can help us to defend the free will debate against the triviality objection and draw some general conclusions.
Erscheinungsjahr
Zeitschriftentitel
Erkenntnis
Band
79
Zeitschriftennummer
3
Seite
669-685
ISSN
eISSN
PUB-ID

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Schulte P. Beyond Verbal Disputes: The Compatibilism Debate Revisited. Erkenntnis. 2014;79(3):669-685.
Schulte, P. (2014). Beyond Verbal Disputes: The Compatibilism Debate Revisited. Erkenntnis, 79(3), 669-685. doi:10.1007/s10670-013-9530-8
Schulte, P. (2014). Beyond Verbal Disputes: The Compatibilism Debate Revisited. Erkenntnis 79, 669-685.
Schulte, P., 2014. Beyond Verbal Disputes: The Compatibilism Debate Revisited. Erkenntnis, 79(3), p 669-685.
P. Schulte, “Beyond Verbal Disputes: The Compatibilism Debate Revisited”, Erkenntnis, vol. 79, 2014, pp. 669-685.
Schulte, P.: Beyond Verbal Disputes: The Compatibilism Debate Revisited. Erkenntnis. 79, 669-685 (2014).
Schulte, Peter. “Beyond Verbal Disputes: The Compatibilism Debate Revisited”. Erkenntnis 79.3 (2014): 669-685.