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Philo

Volume 16, Issue 2, Fall/Winter 2013

John Lemos
Pages 180-195
DOI: 10.5840/Philo201316213

Hard-heartedness and Libertarianism

Richard Double argues that (1) libertarians believe we should hold people morally responsible for their actions and we must possess libertarian free will (LFW) to be morally responsible for our actions; (2) most libertarians believe there is scant epistemic justification for the belief that any of us possess LFW; and (3) morally conscientious persons hold people responsible for their actions only if they have epistemic justification for their guilt. Thus, he concludes most libertarians are not being morally conscientious when they hold people responsible for their actions. Double considers a possible pragmatic, moral argument against his position, but in so doing he only considers a consequentialist version of the pragmatic response. I show that there is a plausible nonconsequentialist way of responding to Double’s argument, and I defend it in the article.

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