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Moral responsibility and the irrelevance of physics: Fischer's semi-compatibilism vs anti-fundamentalism

Steward, H. (2008) Moral responsibility and the irrelevance of physics: Fischer's semi-compatibilism vs anti-fundamentalism. The Journal of Ethics, 12 (2). pp. 129-145. ISSN 1572-8609

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[FIRST PARAGRAPH] 'My Way' is a collection of Fischer’s recent work on moral responsibility which provides an excellent overview of the position that he has (with Mark Ravizza) steadily worked over the last twenty years or so to develop, clarify and defend – the doctrine he calls semi-compatibilism, which combines compatibilism about determinism and moral responsibility, with agnosticism about those more traditional varieties of compatibilism which assert that determinism is consistent with the existence of alternative possibilities. In some ways, indeed, My Way might be regarded as a better route into Fischer’s distinctive outlook than Responsibility and Control, the 1998 book, jointly authored with Mark Ravizza, in which the details of the semi-compatibilist theory are painstakingly worked out – for those details are complex, and it can be easy to lose sight of the shape of the semi-compatibilist woods while trying to make ones way amongst the very considerable number of trees which are required to stake out the territory. The essays which constitute My Way provide a somewhat gentler, though perhaps more circuitous route through the terrain. Early chapters provide an outline of the position which is less burdened by the considerable intricacies demanded by a book which aimed to be a complete statement of the ‘official’ version; while later ones, often written in response to specific worries or objections, seemed to me to offer more help with understanding how it is proposed to deal with the most obvious concerns one might have about the view, than does the rather denser presentation of Responsibility and Control.

Item Type: Article
Copyright, Publisher and Additional Information: © Springer. This is an author produced version of a paper subsequently published in the Journal of Ethics.
Institution: The University of Leeds
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Arts (Leeds) > School of Humanities (Leeds) > School of Philosophy (Leeds) > Division of the History and Philosophy of Science (Leeds)
Depositing User: Repository Officer
Date Deposited: 04 Apr 2007
Last Modified: 05 Jun 2014 16:58
Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10892-008-9027-x
Status: Published
Publisher: Springer Netherlands
Refereed: Yes
Identification Number: 10.1007/s10892-008-9027-x
Related URLs:
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/2336

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