Philosophy TV Managing Editors

David Killoren (Institute for Religion and Critical Inquiry, Australian Catholic University)

Jonathan Lang (Wisconsin Institute for Sleep and Consciousness, University of Wisconsin-Madison)


Gregg Caruso and Bruce Waller

Gregg Caruso and Bruce Waller on free will and moral responsibility.

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Most people believe that we can and should be held morally responsible for our actions. Caruso and Waller both hold that this belief is not only false, but harmful. They recommend that we abandon the notion of moral responsibility. But they disagree about free will: Waller thinks that we can preserve a scientifically and philosophically respectable notion of free will without moral responsibility; Caruso thinks that free will and moral responsibility should both be rejected. They begin their discussion with an overview of the traditional problem of free will (1:09). Next, they discuss Waller’s view of free will (9:14) and debate whether the notion of free will ought to be given up (23:51). Then they lay out their reasons to be skeptical about moral responsibility (41:04) and consider some of the concerns that have been expressed by defenders of moral responsibility (54:05).

Related works

by Caruso:
“(Un)just Deserts: The Dark Side of Moral Responsibility” (forthcoming)
Free Will and Consciousness: A Determinist Account of the Illusion of Free Will (2013)
Exploring the Illusion of Free Will and Moral Responsibility (2013)

by Waller:
Against Moral Responsibility (2011)
The Natural Selection of Autonomy (1998)
Freedom Without Responsibility (1990)


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