chapter  6
1 Pages

Resolving the stalemate

Where does this leave the debate between Pereboom and his opponents? I believe that there are four lessons that should be drawn here. First, Pereboom has a growing list of approaches to moral responsibility that he grants are not threatened by the truth of determinism. This list currently includes several consequentialist and contractualist proposals (Fischer et al. 2007, as quoted in Pereboom 2007, 86), theories such as Scanlon (1998) that focus on answerability, and he has even been willing to grant that Fischer’s theory of moral responsibility which focuses on guidance control spelled out in terms of reasons-responsiveness may not utilize a basic desert notion (Fischer et al. 2007, as quoted in Pereboom 2007, 199). I suggest that there are several Strawsonian takes on moral responsibility that should be added to this list including McKenna’s Conversational Theory. More specifically, any Strawsonian who understands the desert involved in moral responsibility as a fit between our responsibility practices and some feature of the agent or her actions is a compatibilist that Pereboom should concede need not be threatened by the four-case argument. This is because these compatibilists do not appeal to basic desert and the kind of desert at issue for this variety of compatibilist seems consistent with the truth of determinism.