chapter  1
1 Pages

Introduction

WithNadine Elzein

I examine Manuel Vargas’s revisionist justification for continuing with our responsibility-characteristic practices in the absence of basic desert. I query his claim that this justification need not depend on how we settle questions about the content of morality, arguing that it requires us to reject the Kantian principle that prohibits treating anyone merely as a means. I maintain that any convincing argument against this principle would have to be driven by concerns that arise within the sphere of moral theory itself, whereas Vargas’s argument draws solely on concerns about the expensive metaphysics involved in a libertarian conception of freedom. I argue that this amounts not just to changing the concept of free will by stipulation, but also (more problematically) to changing our moral principles by stipulation.