Chapter

Quality of Will Theories and History-Insensitive Compatibilism

Neil Levy

in Hard Luck

Published in print July 2011 | ISBN: 9780199601387
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191729256 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199601387.003.0008
Quality of Will Theories and History-Insensitive Compatibilism

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The final chapter examines two different ways of avoiding the luck pincer developed in Chapter 4, both of which deny that responsibility is a partially historical concept, and thereby bite the bullet on constitutive luck. The first holds that agents are responsible for actions and omissions that express the quality of their will, and denies that agents must exercise control over their actions for this expressive relation to be instantiated. The second approach maintains the control condition but denies that responsibility is historical. It is argued that actions we do not control do not express our practical identities, and that therefore positions that deny we need control fail. Control-based theories that deny that responsibility is partially historical cannot get off the ground against the hard luck view because their main claim — that similar agents must be treated similarly — is one that the hard luck view accepts.

Keywords: quality of will; omissions; Angela Smith; Nomy Arpaly; values; expression; Michael McKenna

Chapter.  14893 words. 

Subjects: Metaphysics

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