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Strawson now asks

Strawson now asks - questions about how things are and...

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Strawson now asks: why should we think that acknowledging the truth of determinism will make us give up the reactive stance across the board? He thinks that it is absurd to think that it would. In the first place, we are just not able to give it up; it is too deeply ingrained. It would be to give up on our humanity. Secondly, even if we ask whether the acknowledging the truth of determinism should rationally make us give it up (whether or not we actually would), the answer is: no. For the decision as to whether we should rationally take the reactive stance is a practical one; whereas the truth of determinism is a theoretical question. Practical questions are answered by considering how we would benefit from the different answers to them. And there is no question that our lives would be hugely impoverished if we were to give up on the reactive attitudes. (The difference between practical and theoretical questions is clearly related to the difference between is-statements and ought-statements. Roughly theoretical question as
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Unformatted text preview: questions about how things are; and practical questions are questions about what we ought to do; and there are good reasons for thinking that we can never derive an ought-statement from an is-statement; the contention sometimes known as Hume’s Law.) All of this has addressed the compatibility of determinism and our practice of ascribing moral responsibility. But what about the compatibilism of determinism with the claim that people are free? (What we might call freedom compatibilism, to distinguish it from responsibility compatibilism.) There are two ways to go here. One is to accept that the claim that people are free is a theoretical claim, but one which is detached from the practical question of how we should treat people. So even if freedom compatibilism is false, this won’t have any terrible consequences for our practice of ascribing blame. (But what should we make of the phenomenology of freedom?)...
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