Extending compatibilism: control, responsibility, and blame

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this paper, I argue that 'moral responsibility' refers to two concepts, not to one. In the first place, we are not ultimately morally responsible or, therefore, unqualifiedly blameworthy, due to the fact that we lack ultimate forms of control. But, second, it is legitimate to consider us to be morally responsible in another sense, and therefore qualifiedly blameworthy, once we have certain forms of control. Consequently, I argue that our normal practice of blaming is unjust, since it requires that we are ultimately morally responsible. I contend that this practice must, on grounds of justice, be tempered by adequate consideration of the fact that we are not ultimately morally responsible. My proposal in this regard is that blaming be replaced by admonishment.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)209–230
Number of pages22
JournalRes Publica
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2007
Externally publishedYes


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