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Acknowledgements

Is our analysis deflationary? Yes and no. It is in the sense of deflating bloated concepts of ‘free will’ and ‘responsibility’ that appear not to play any significant role in ordinary moral understanding and practices. However, it is not in the sense of deflating ordinary moral practices themselves. Strawson’s program was to elevate reactive attitudes to be the justifiers of moral assessments – to render praise, blame, reward, and punishment deserved. We suggest that the justifiers of moral assessments are more than just reactive and they are more than just attitudes. They are sophisticated judgments in light of characteristic criteria, and if the criteria are met, the ensuing judgments are considered justified – justified within the social community that subscribes to those criteria. Thismeans that people sometimes get it wrong. They can assign undeserving blame or praise when, for example, they do not properly heed the criteria or rely on false information when assessing the criteria. However, in general, communities can tell deserving from undeserving moral assessments, because the criteria for desert are socially learned, socially shared, and socially enforced.