Building Better Beings: A Theory of Moral Responsibility , written by Manuel Vargas

Building Better Beings: A Theory of Moral Responsibility , written by Manuel Vargas (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013), 345 pp. isbn 978-0-19-969754-0 (hbk). $55.00. Let us say that a theory of x is revisionist to the extent that what it tells us about how we should understand x conflicts with how most of us ordinarily do think about x . In Building Better Beings , Manuel Vargas develops a revisionist compatibilist theory of free will and moral responsibility. The theory is compatibilist because it implies that free will and moral responsibility are compatible with causal determinism. It is revisionist in part because, according to Vargas, there are substantial incompatibilist elements to our pre-theoretical views about these issues, which means that Vargas’s theory, if true, demands non-trivial revisions to our natural way of thinking about freedom and responsibility. The book is divided into two parts. A sizable portion of the first part deals with methodological issues unique to Vargas’s revisionist approach. While there is some interesting material here, especially the criticisms of libertarian approaches to freedom and responsibility (about which I will have more to say shortly), the most innovative and important material is found in the second part. It is there that Vargas proposes and defends his unique revisionist compatibilist theory, http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Moral Philosophy Brill

Building Better Beings: A Theory of Moral Responsibility , written by Manuel Vargas

Journal of Moral Philosophy, Volume 13 (2): 245 – Mar 16, 2016

Building Better Beings: A Theory of Moral Responsibility , written by Manuel Vargas


(Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013), 345 pp. isbn 978-0-19-969754-0 (hbk). $55.00. Let us say that a theory of x is revisionist to the extent that what it tells us about how we should understand x conflicts with how most of us ordinarily do think about x . In Building Better Beings , Manuel Vargas develops a revisionist compatibilist theory of free will and moral responsibility. The theory is compatibilist because it implies that free will and moral responsibility are compatible with causal determinism. It is revisionist in part because, according to Vargas, there are substantial incompatibilist elements to our pre-theoretical views about these issues, which means that Vargas’s theory, if true, demands non-trivial revisions to our natural way of thinking about freedom and responsibility. The book is divided into two parts. A sizable portion of the first part deals with methodological issues unique to Vargas’s revisionist approach. While there is some interesting material here, especially the criticisms of libertarian approaches to freedom and responsibility (about which I will have more to say shortly), the most innovative and important material is found in the second part. It is there that Vargas proposes and defends his unique revisionist compatibilist theory, according to which praise and blame and associated norms are justified to the extent that they build morally better beings. In what follows, I will sketch and comment on some of the main aspects of this “agency cultivation model” of moral responsibility and Vargas’s overall case for it. Assuming that there is indeed a strong incompatibilist bent to our ordinary thinking about free will and moral responsibility, Vargas suggests that we would do well in our search for an adequate theory of these things to look for one that can accommodate the incompatibilist strands in our thought. We should therefore first look to libertarianism, the view that combines incompatibilism...
Loading next page...
 
/lp/brill/building-better-beings-a-theory-of-moral-responsibility-written-by-zahqGwRuRx
Publisher
Brill
Copyright
© 2016 by Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
Subject
Book Reviews
ISSN
1740-4681
eISSN
1745-5243
DOI
10.1163/17455243-01302001
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

(Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013), 345 pp. isbn 978-0-19-969754-0 (hbk). $55.00. Let us say that a theory of x is revisionist to the extent that what it tells us about how we should understand x conflicts with how most of us ordinarily do think about x . In Building Better Beings , Manuel Vargas develops a revisionist compatibilist theory of free will and moral responsibility. The theory is compatibilist because it implies that free will and moral responsibility are compatible with causal determinism. It is revisionist in part because, according to Vargas, there are substantial incompatibilist elements to our pre-theoretical views about these issues, which means that Vargas’s theory, if true, demands non-trivial revisions to our natural way of thinking about freedom and responsibility. The book is divided into two parts. A sizable portion of the first part deals with methodological issues unique to Vargas’s revisionist approach. While there is some interesting material here, especially the criticisms of libertarian approaches to freedom and responsibility (about which I will have more to say shortly), the most innovative and important material is found in the second part. It is there that Vargas proposes and defends his unique revisionist compatibilist theory,

Journal

Journal of Moral PhilosophyBrill

Published: Mar 16, 2016

There are no references for this article.

You’re reading a free preview. Subscribe to read the entire article.


DeepDyve is your
personal research library

It’s your single place to instantly
discover and read the research
that matters to you.

Enjoy affordable access to
over 18 million articles from more than
15,000 peer-reviewed journals.

All for just $49/month

Explore the DeepDyve Library

Search

Query the DeepDyve database, plus search all of PubMed and Google Scholar seamlessly

Organize

Save any article or search result from DeepDyve, PubMed, and Google Scholar... all in one place.

Access

Get unlimited, online access to over 18 million full-text articles from more than 15,000 scientific journals.

Your journals are on DeepDyve

Read from thousands of the leading scholarly journals from SpringerNature, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford University Press and more.

All the latest content is available, no embargo periods.

See the journals in your area

DeepDyve

Freelancer

DeepDyve

Pro

Price

FREE

$49/month
$360/year

Save searches from
Google Scholar,
PubMed

Create folders to
organize your research

Export folders, citations

Read DeepDyve articles

Abstract access only

Unlimited access to over
18 million full-text articles

Print

20 pages / month

PDF Discount

20% off