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Freedom of the will, responsibility and moral obligation.

Elzein, N.; (2005) Freedom of the will, responsibility and moral obligation. Masters thesis , University of London. Green open access

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This thesis addresses the classic problem of freedom and responsibility, focusing on the way that certain issues within metaethics might be seen to have a bearing on this issue. Various theorists have appealed to the concept of reason in order to explain responsibility. 1 will begin by discussing reason-based views of responsibility, specifically supporting Susan Wolfs view against certain criticisms that have been levelled against it. 1 will argue that in order to be held responsible for an act, the agent must bear the right kind of relation to the reasons for acting that she is subject to, and that such reasons must be considered "objective" in the sense of being independent of the individual's subjective aims and desires. 1 will defend the view that there can be reasons that are objective in this sense against Bernard Williams's argument that all true reasons claims must depend on subjective conditions. 1 will argue, in particular, that moral obligations cannot be plausibly explained in the same way that Williams explains other reasons claims. This allows us to adopt the above explanation of responsibility at least for moral reasons. This means we can still account for the most important and interesting cases: we can still account for moral responsibility. 1 will go on to argue for an alternative explanation of moral duties, influenced by Mill and Strawson. This involves explaining moral obligations, and the kind of normative pressure we associate with them, in terms of the justification we might have for adopting certain attitudes towards an agent in response to their acts. Such justification relates both to the objectivity of moral reasons, and to facts about the quality of the agent's will towards others. 1 will build on this view of moral obligations in developing a positive account of the conditions of responsibility.

Type: Thesis (Masters)
Title: Freedom of the will, responsibility and moral obligation.
Identifier: PQ ETD:591971
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Thesis digitised by Proquest
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Dept of Philosophy
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1444662
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