A fresh perspective on the controversial set of questions surrounding determinism, naturalism, freedom, and responsibility
Freedom Without Responsibility
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Bruce N. Waller
In this book, Bruce Waller attacks two prevalent philosophical beliefs. First, he argues that moral responsibility must be rejected; there is no room for such a notion within our naturalist framework. Second, he denies the common assumption that moral responsibility is inseparably linked with individual freedom. Rejection of moral responsibility does not entail the demise of individual freedom; instead, individual freedom is enhanced by the rejection of moral responsibility. According to this theory of "no-fault naturalism," no one deserves either blame or reward.
In the course of arguing against moral responsibility, Waller critiques major compatibilist argumentsby Dennett, Frankfurt, Strawson, Bennett, Wolf, Hampshire, Glover, Rachels, Sher, and others. In addition, the implications of denying moral responsibilityfor individual freedom, for moral judgments and moral behavior, and for social justiceare examined; the supposed dire consequences of the denial of moral responsibility are challenged; and the benefits of denying moral responsibility are described.
Bruce N. Waller, Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Youngstown State University, Youngstown, Ohio, is the author of Critical Thinking: Consider the Verdict.