chapter  3
5 Pages


Clearly, even if one accepts the RR, one’s view of whether moral desert is possible will depend upon one’s theories of free will and responsibility. Importantly, theories of free will and responsibility are not just theories about how these concepts are related but are also theories that elaborate the nature of these concepts. The concepts of freedom, responsibility, and control as used in these traditional incompatibilist arguments are ‘strong’ concepts that involve metaphysically demanding commitments for freedom – such as commitments to contra-causal agentive powers, to violations of natural law, or to a particular role for indeterminism. Only if these demanding conditions are met can people be deserving of moral praise or blame; and only if they are deserving can punishment (and presumably reward) be justified. Hard incompatibilists deny that the metaphysically demanding conditions are met and therefore give up desert or rely upon consequentialist arguments to justify our practices. Libertarians argue that thesemetaphysically demanding conditions aremet, and they oftenmaintain that the folk views of free will, responsibility, and desert embrace these conditions.