chapter  IX
Moral Responsibility
WithEdgar Wilson
Pages 21

In less developed communities moral responsibility for misdemeanours has been attributed to whole nations: offences committed by one were held against all. 'Responsibility' is sometimes used indiscriminately to mean either, and as a result both libertarians and determinists are misled into needless confusion, thinking that a denial of moral responsibility in one sense entails the denial of the basic social and legal institutions implied by another sense. Among the most widely resisted consequences of physical determinism is the supposition that it downgrades, diminishes, deflates or demeans man's image of himself by making him out to be a 'mere' physical organism and denying him uniqueness, rationality and choice. Although numerous hard determinists have offered arguments to the effect that determinism is incompatible with the traditional concept of moral responsibility, there has been a great deal of confusion about the nature of this incompatibility.