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Incompatibilism

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Does Hard Incompatibilism Really Abolish ‘Right’ And ‘Wrong’? Some Thoughts In Response To Larry Alexander, John A. Humbach Mr. Mar 2017

Does Hard Incompatibilism Really Abolish ‘Right’ And ‘Wrong’? Some Thoughts In Response To Larry Alexander, John A. Humbach Mr.

Elisabeth Haub School of Law Faculty Publications

In a challenge to recent writings of Derk Pereboom and Gregg Caruso,3 Larry Alexander makes the following claim: If one accepts the Pereboom-Caruso “hard incompatibilist” view of choice, which regards blame and retributive punishment as morally unjustified because free will is an illusion, then “normativity completely disappears.” In making this claim, Professor Alexander appears to hold that the moral distinction between right and wrong conduct (“normativity”) cannot effectively exist unless those who do wrong “deserve” to receive blame and punishment in response to their misbehavior. This is not, however, necessarily so.