, Volume 26, Issue 4, pp 343-353
Date: 22 Sep 2010

On the Reason View of Freedom and Semi-Compatibilism

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In Freedom Within Reason (1990), Susan Wolf defends the “Reason View” according to which the control moral responsibility requires is the control to act in accord with the True and the Good. This view implies that if, in her circumstances, an agent cannot do the right thing for what may be dubbed the right “objective” reasons, she is not appropriately responsive to the dictates of practical reason, and so she is not morally responsible for what she does. In this paper, I argue that there is a requirement of alternative possibilities for our having objective practical reasons. So, any theory of moral responsibility that invokes a reasons-responsiveness account of control relevantly analogous to Wolf’s is tied to our having alternatives.

The Reason View

One’s action expresses what one values only if what one values plays a non-deviant causal role in the production of that action. At the core of the Reason View lies this principle:

Free Action: An action is free only if it expresses what one