A similar problem confronts soft-line replies that point toresponsibility-conferring conditions not specified in a particularmanipulation case (Lycan 1987; Baker 2006; Feltz 2012; Murray &Lombrozo 2017). That is, even if one could point to a relevantdifference between an agent in an extant manipulation case and anagent in the naturally-determined case, this may only serve as aninvitation for proponents of the manipulation argument to revise thevignette on which their argument is based so that the agent nowsatisfies the relevant condition on which the soft-liner insists(Capes, forthcoming). The challenge, then, for defenders of thesoft-line approach is to show that there is some kind of requirementfor free action and moral responsibility that can be satisfied byagents in deterministic settings but which cannot (in principle) besatisfied by agents in manipulation cases. [For a recent attempt atsatisfying this challenge, see Deery and Nahmias (2017); for a reply,see Capes (forthcoming).]
[Note: While most anti-skeptical arguments focus on objections to themanipulation argument, the luck objection, the Basic Argument, theLuck Pincer, etc., some recent anti-skeptical arguments have alsofocused on the role of reference and alternative ways of thinkingabout free will and moral responsibility. See, for example, thearguments of Shaun Nichols (2013, 2015; Nichols et al. 2016) and Oisín Deery (2015)on reference and preservationism,Kelly McCormick (2013, 2016) on anchoring reference in the context ofresponsibility talk, and Manuel Vargas on preferringrevisionism to eliminativism (2005b, 2009, 2007,2012a).]
Illusionism is the view that while we lack free will andmoral responsibility, we should nonetheless promote belief inthese notions since to disbelieve in moral responsibility would havedire consequences for society and ourselves (see Smilansky 1999, 2000,2002, 2013). According to Saul Smilansky, one of the lead proponentsof illusionism, most people not only believe in actual possibilitiesand the ability to transcend circumstances, but have
While there may be independent reasons for rejecting retributivism,reasons that have nothing to do with free will and moralresponsibility, it is clear that moral responsibility skepticism isincompatible with the retributive justification for punishment sinceit does away with the idea of basic desert. If agents do notdeserve blame just because they have knowingly done wrong, neither dothey deserve punishment just because they have knowingly done wrong(Pereboom 2014a). The challenge facing moral responsibilityskepticism, then, is to explain how we can adequately deal withcriminal behavior without the justification provided by retributivismand basic desert moral responsibility. While some critics contend thiscannot be done, moral responsibility skeptics point out that there areseveral alternative ways of justifying criminal punishment (anddealing with criminal behavior more generally) that do not appeal tothe notion of basic desert and are thus not threatened by theskeptical perspective. These include deterrence theories, moraleducation theories, punishment justified by the right to harm inself-defense, and incapacitation theories.
compatibilism | determinism: causal | free will | free will: divine foreknowledge and | incompatibilism: (nondeterministic) theories of free will | incompatibilism: arguments for | justice: retributive | luck: moral | moral responsibility | punishment, legal | quantum mechanics: Bohmian mechanics 2b1af7f3a8