Nihilism and Revisionism

Manuel Vargas

in Building Better Beings

Published in print January 2013 | ISBN: 9780199697540
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191748851 | DOI:
Nihilism and Revisionism

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This chapter considers what options remain once libertarianism is found wanting as a theory of free will. The chapter argues that responsibility nihilism, or a view that holds that there is no moral responsibility, is unwarranted. There is at least one other option: revisionism. The key idea is that the requirements of moral responsibility might be other than we sometimes conceive of them, and in particular, that it might conflict with aspects of ordinary thinking about moral responsibility. The chapter argues that this is a plausible view under a wide range of understandings of how concepts and language operate, and that responsibility nihilism is not warranted until revisionism can be shown to be unworkable.

Keywords: revisionism; nihilism; skepticism; moral responsibility; reference; conceptual change; strawson

Chapter.  11160 words. 

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

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