The later ethics and politics
DOI link for The later ethics and politics
The later ethics and politics book
Philosophical Explanations includes both metaphysics and ethics, but with a difference. Nozick treats free not so much as a prerequisite for responsibility but as an intrinsically valuable feature of our status as human beings. An indeterministic approach states: If nothing happens without a cause, then all our actions must be caused, and so must their causes, in a chain leading back before our birth, indeed to the Big Bang. Nozick tries to distinguish between being caused and being causally determined. He compares indeterminism to 'intellectual quicksand', and tries another taack, one clearly compatible with determinism. Nozick concludes by saying that although originative value requires it, retribution, based on degree of flouting is not of responsibility. But he strangely adds that determinism may reduce, but not eliminate, the degree of flouting, and that while manipulation by impersonal causes does not excuse us, manipulation by other agents does, because then their intentions are operating.