Doubts About Libertarianism

Manuel Vargas

in Building Better Beings

Published in print January 2013 | ISBN: 9780199697540
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191748851 | DOI:
Doubts About Libertarianism

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This chapter argues that there are good reasons to doubt the prospects of libertarianism as a theory about what we ought to think about moral responsibility, all things considered. It begins with an overview of some libertarian options, and focuses on empirical evidence and philosophical challenges for event-causal and agent-causal versions of libertarianism. The chapter also argues for a standard for evaluating theories in this domain, something it calls a standard of naturalistic plausibility. The main conclusions of this chapter are these: there is no evidence in favor of libertarianism, and in light of this, it is unacceptable to treat people as blameworthy in light of a conviction that moral responsibility requires libertarian agency.

Keywords: libertarianism; Kane; agent causation; neuroscience; naturalistic plausibility

Chapter.  8157 words. 

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

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