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10/06/2012

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It seems to me, that responsibility for a given action of an agent is associated with whatever system level exerts the controlling force(s). When my thoughts exert new emergent forces (i.e., free will) and thereby affect my actions, the forces exerted by my thoughts are partially responsible for my actions.

One of the complex issues involved with assigning MR, is that any given action by an agent isn’t caused *solely* by the forces exerted from the agent’s thoughts interacting with one another at the “thought level”. In other words, in addition to the forces exerted by a person’s thoughts, there are *many* other forces exerted from various other system levels that add into the mix (i.e., autonomous forces), and whatever system levels exert those autonomous forces are effectively also partially responsible for the actions of the agent.

I believe that it’s a *very* complex matter to determine what entities are responsible for exerting what forces, because there’s effectively a sea of different forces interacting fluidly inside a physical human brain, and all of those forces are adding in real time with one another to form the net sum, which thereby controls the agent’s actions.

Once again, great topic John!

You write: “but weak-willed behavior presumably does not express the real self (the motivational states with which one identifies).”

I think this is too quick. A person’s deep self consists of the full set of his cares, values, and evaluative commitments. It is possible for these elements to be in tension in subtle, or even not so subtle, ways. I think that to be morally responsible, it sufficient for an action or attitude to be "anchored" in a person’s deep self. This means that the action or attitude expresses some or other element of the person’s deep self--it finds a foothold in a part of the person's character, though not all of it. That is, for moral responsibility it needn’t be the case that the action or attitude expresses *all* of the elements, or some sort of weighted combination of elements, of the deep self.

Suppose a person otherwise good and kind has a ‘character flaw’, perhaps a care or a value that tends to emphasize self-gratification. In giving in to temptation, the person’s action can express this specific element of the person’s deep self. Since the action is anchored in the deep self, the person is morally responsible for it.

I find myself in agreement with John.

@Chandra: Let agent A's deep self consist of the full set of her cares, values and evaluative commitments. And suppose it is correct that A is morally responsible for some action X because X is anchored in A's deep self. Now I wonder in what sense X might be aptly described to be weak-willed.

One familiar characterization of weak-willed action is that it goes against the agent's evaluative judgment. So perhaps the above case is to be understood in terms of X's being anchored in A's cares (where A's cares may conflict with A's evaluative judgments). Fair enough. But given the supposition that A's cares are partly constitutive of A's deep self, I lose my grip on what is *weak* about an action anchored in them, even if it goes against A's evaluative judgment.

To put the point generally, given a characterization of A's deep self, it seems to me that weak-willed action ought to be understood in opposition to this. Otherwise, it is hard to see why the action should be considered *weak*. Alternatively, we might start with a characterization of weak-willed action, and then it seems to me that our favored characterization of the deep self ought to be understood in opposition to this. (Richard Holton, in his "Intention and Weakness of Will," makes a similar point, and Gary Watson says something along these lines, in "The Work of the Will," when he remarks about the difficulty for accounts of the will that do not take making up one's mind to be essentially connected to value of explaining what is so special about considerations pertaining to the good.)

These points suggest to me that, insofar as we take moral responsibility to be tied to the deep self (however this is to be understood), we should deny that one can be morally responsible for weak actions. This is because our account of weakness of will should be characterized in opposition to our account of the deep self. But it seems to me to be the intuitively the wrong result to claim that one cannot be morally responsible for any weak actions. So perhaps we should rethink the supposed connection between moral responsibility and the deep self.

@Ben: I think a weak action only needs to diverge from one’s evaluative judgment, and it needn’t diverge from (that is, it can still express some or other element of) one’s deep self.

Consider Huck Finn (on Jonathan Bennett or Arpaly& Schroeder’s interpretation). He forms a considered evaluative judgment that turning in Huck is the thing to do. But he can’t bring himself to do the deed and in the end does what he considers all things considered worse. So he acts in a weak-willed way (this at least is what many commentators on the case have said, and I tend to agree). But in the case as described his action expresses his true underlying self. If Huck’s is a case of weakness of will, then even more so the kind of case I had in mind. Recall in the cases I had in mind, the agent acts on a wayward desire that expresses just *one small element* of his deep self (for example, the otherwise good and kind man has a ‘flaw’ in that he cares too much for his own self-gratification).

You write: “But given the supposition that A's cares are partly constitutive of A's deep self, I lose my grip on what is *weak* about an action anchored in them, even if it goes against A's evaluative judgment.”

I do feel the force of the point you are making. But I would respond like this. The action is weak because the *faculty of willpower*, which enables a person to resist/suppress a wayward desire, is in some sense not strong enough to do the job. So the weakness in weakness of will comes from the insufficient efficacy of willpower. That an action diverges from one’s deep self is not what makes it weak.

Let me add something to what I said in the previous comment.

I agree with John that appeals to the deep self are most likely best used by those concerned with autonomy, where a theory of autonomy is meant to give an account of when actions have agential authority or speak for the agent, as opposed to an account of when one is morally responsible. It seems to me that a theory of autonomy needs an account of the self. And it also seems to me that whatever account of the self one gives in providing a theory of autonomy is going to be aptly considered the deepest or most real self, agentially speaking. (This qualification leaves it open that one might appeal to different aspects of the self (to borrow Velleman's phrase) when theorizing about agency and, say, personal identity. I'm not here endorsing this way of proceeding, but I'm being careful to allow for it.) Whatever account of the self that is most deeply identified with the agent for the purposes of specifying types of action is the one that should be incorporated in one's theory of autonomy because autonomous actions are those that most fully reflect oneself. That is what it is for them to be autonomous. (Interesting questions arise about what relation this self should bear to different kinds of non-autnomous actions (e.g., morally responsible actions, intentional actions).)

If this is right, then there is room in one's comprehensive account of human agency to make sense of moral responsibility for weak actions. If we distinguish between moral responsibility and autonomy, and appeal to the deep self only in accounting for the latter, then the issues raised about the adequacy of accounting for weak actions by appeal to the deep self do not bear on the ability of one's view to account for moral responsibility for weak actions.

Chandra and Ben: thanks! I agree with Ben that it is important to distinguish concepts that are sometimes run together: moral responsibility, autonomy, "agential authority", "agency par excellence", and "actions that speak for the agent". I also agree that in acting in a way that renders one morally responsible, one might not be expressing the agentially relevant "real or true self", whereas in acting autonomously (or in a way that speaks for oneself, etc.), one is thereby expressing the real or true self. What is problematic is when we do not distinguish moral responsibliity, a broader notion, from the others; sometimes this leads to rejecting candidate analyses for moral responsbility, when what is really going on is that we have found a problem for a candidate analysis for (say) autonomy (or action that speaks for the agent...) I develop some of these ideas (having learned a lot from Ben M/Y's dissertation and other work) in my paper in Phil. Issues, "Responsibility and Autonomy: The Problem of Mission Creep". I'll be giving a sequel and further development in "What Moral Responsibility is Not" in Muenster at our Autonomy Conference.

@Ben and John, I agree that we should respect the distinctions between various agential concepts and in particular between moral responsibility and autonomous action. Here is how I would do this fully within a deep self framework. While an action’s being merely anchored in one’s deep self is sufficient for MR (where anchoring in my sense involves the action’s expressing at least a ‘sliver’ of your deep self), it is not sufficient for autonomous action. Autonomous action requires a much broader more robust sense in which one’s actions express one’s deep self. So I do want to recognize different styles of agency and allow the deep self to play different roles in each.

But I do want to push you guys to address the Huck Finn case I raised above. :)
I think the way I am interpreting the case is pretty standard, but if you don’t like this interpretation, I’d like to hear why. A crucial premise in this discussion has been the claim that weak-willed actions must oppose one’s deep self. But the Huck case illustrates that this claim is likely incorrect.

One quick question: why can't a deep/real self moral responsibility theorist appeal to the notion of *partial* identification to explain the puzzle of weakness? Suppose you think identification is a matter of there being a certain structural relation between one's motives and one's cares. Perhaps I care more about X than Y, but I nevertheless do care for Y. I am thus, we might say, more identified with X than Y. When I act on Y when it is in tension with X, the weakness may consist in my doing what I ostensibly care less about (i.e., am less identified with). Both are products of the deep/real self, however.

Chandra and David,

Ok, thanks, and I think we are making progress. So you want to say that an agent acts freely and is morally responsible insofar as her action expresses at least some part (even a sliver) of the deep self, so moral responsibility is connected with expression of the deep self (albeit in this attenuated way). Then perhaps autonomy would involve expressing the deep self in a more robust (or thoroughgoing) way. Good--I'll think about this. Here my point would simply be that we couldn't identify moral responsibility with action from the "real self" interpreted as "the hegemonic elements or even a "substantial part of" the real self. And with this, presumably, you would be in agreement, and there would be room then for a distinction between moral responsibility and something more robust. I'll have to think more about this, but offhand I'm wondering why it should matter that a sliver of the real self gets involved; that is, once you are willing to concede that moral responsibility requires only a sliver of the real self, why does it require any of it? But I'm not sure about any of this stuff.

About Huck: I don't have a very sophisticated interpretation, but I'm inclined to agree that he acts in a weak-willed way insofar as he acts against what he thinks is all-things-considered right; but also arguably he acts from his real self. If this is correct, and I'm not sure it is--in part because he might just be thinking that it would be "all-things-considered right" in the conventional sense only--then this would be a case in which weakness of the will would not involve going against the real or true self. Good point. But still I think there will be SOME cases of weakness of the will that will indeed involve going against the real or true self, and these would seem to constitute a problem for a simple-minded association of moral responsibility with expression of the real or true self.

@Chandra: I am inclined to agree that weak action diverges from one's evaluative judgment. I am also inclined to think that weakness has to do with deficiency in willpower. But these claims jointly suggest to me that the faculty of willpower bears some essential connection to whatever grounds one's evaluative judgments. Cares do not seem to be essentially connected to the grounds for evaluative judgment, because they can diverge from one's evaluative judgment (as in the cases you have brought up), so it seems that one's cares are not a part of one's faculty of willpower. Since I think moral responsibility is about quality of will (and willpower will bear on the faulty of one's will), the above line of reasoning suggests to me that cares are not straightforwardly relevant to moral responsibility.

I can see how cares might be straightforwardly relevant to autonomy (and related issues, such as moral status). They can be seen to constitute a conception of the self that plays the necessary role for grounding agential authority. (I think this is an oversimplified, but correct as far as it goes, characterization of the way Jaworska understands the role of cares.) But then I think one who holds this sort of view should deny that weak action need diverge from evaluative judgment. He should, instead, hold that weak action goes against what one cares about, whether or not it also goes against one's evaluations.

As for Huck Finn, I think the case is not nearly as straightforward as it has been taken to be in the literature. To begin with, we don't normally think that 11 year olds are fully developed moral agents, with fully constituted deep selves. So interpreting Huck (the character from the Twain novels) as an agent with a deep self is problematic. I think it is better interpreted as a case of moral development, rather than one of expression of an established moral character. Why not interpret Huck's case as one of an agent who comes to reconsider the evaluative attitudes he has been raised to hold? Sure, his emotional connection to Jim plays an important role in the way Huck behaves. But it is not clear to me, first, that Huck should be taken to have a settled moral character in the way the standard interpretation of the case seems to require nor, second, that Huck ends up maintaining the evaluative judgments he begins with. Why not think he has come to change his mind (and that this is part of what drives him West at the end of the book)?

However, we can consider the case as structurally suggestive of a possible way things might go for fully developed moral agents: one can act against one's sincere evaluative judgments and thereby express an element of one's deep self. I have already raised questions about the construal of this as weak action.

@Dave: This is a nice suggestion. I am inclined to say the following about this kind of case. First, I think of such cases as instances of perversity (borrowing Watson's term). One is identified with the grounds of one's action, but there is a sense in which one is not fully behind the action. It seems to me that this is an action that issues from one's deep self, and that this is sufficient for one's moral responsibility for it. But this is all plausible even if one takes the deep self to ground an account of autonomy (as opposed to moral responsibility), because it seems plausible that one is moral responsible for all of one's autonomous actions. As John notes, the concept of autonomy seems narrower than the concept of moral responsibility. On this view, autonomy may be sufficient for moral responsibility, but one may be morally responsible for certain non-autonomous actions as well.

One more thing. I like the way you put everything about the case in terms of cares. This avoids the trouble of explaining how cares are related to evaluative judgments that arises when one takes the deep self to be (partly) constituted by cares and weakness (or perversity) to involve transgressing evaluative judgment.

I think Chandra is right, though I wouldn't put it in quite the same way. On the way I spell out the real view - for purposes of charitable interpretation, not endorsement - an action expresses the agent's real self iff the agent has brought to bear their evaluative perspective (constitutiive of the RS) with regard to that action. I grant that 'expresses' is misleading, here, inasmuch as it sounds odd to say that my drinking too much expresses my (all things considered) sober real self. Chandra must be right that my weak action expresses some component of my cognitive/affective economy.

Even with Chandra's point, oddness doesn't go away though: we still get the result that my drinking expresses my sober RS. People who Angela Smith calls updated real self theorists (like herself) actually don't use the RS terminology much, perhaps to avoid this oddness. I would say "evaluative agency" rather than RS.

I should say first a big thanks to John for raising these questions and to Ben for enlightening follow-up. I've learned a lot.

I'm not entirely sure what to say about autonomy. And I'm also not sure what to say about moral responsibility, full stop, as I think there are three distinct conceptions of MR (attributability, answerability, and accountability). So I'm not sure how to map on thoughts of autonomy to the tripartite distinction I have in mind, especially when I suspect the former might be multiply ambiguous as well. At any rate, I think a deep self understanding of autonomy fits best with an attributability understanding of MR (I know Chandra and I disagree about this, as he thinks a deep self view can account for the whole of MR). And if an action (say) is attributable to an agent, it can ground various sorts of responsibility-responses, e.g., aretaic predication (as long as it expresses certain motivational character traits). But that may not be sufficient to ground certain accountability responses (e.g., *holding* responsible, say, via expressions of resentment) if other capacity conditions haven't been met (e.g., control). So I'd want to hear more about the various senses of "autonomy" and "moral responsibility" in play here (although I certainly know John's view of the latter), but that's perhaps a discussion for another day.

I second David’s comment. Thanks to John and Ben and the rest of you for an enlightening discussion.

@Ben: I am very intrigued by the argument in the first paragraph of your last comment. If I understood your argument, it has the following form: (this is a quick sketch so sorry if I get some of this wrong)

1. Cares are not essentially connected to willpower
2. MR is essentially connected to the will
3. Willpower is essentially connected to the will
Therefore cares are not essentially connected to MR

I agree with 1 and 2, but disagree with 3. The argument for 3 comes here:
“Since I think moral responsibility is about quality of will (and willpower will bear on the faculty of one's will), the above line of reasoning suggests to me that cares are not straightforwardly relevant to moral responsibility.”

I worry that ‘will’ is being used in two different senses here. The first occurrence of will (when you use the term ‘quality of will’) pertains to will understood as something like the totality of one’s motives/evaluations. Call this the evaluative sense of will. The second occurrence of will pertains to what Kane refers to as ‘striving will’—something like a faculty for regulating one’s motives. Willpower is essentially connected to striving will, not the first sense of will. Once these two senses of will are kept separate, the argument does not go through. I realize the issues here are complex and may not be easy to address via blog exchanges (so I am not demanding a detailed response). But I did want to locate where I see a potential difference in views.

@Neil, I like the proposal to use ‘evaluative agency’, rather than real/deep self, in certain contexts to avoid the oddness problem. Thanks for the suggestion.

John,

You seem to have managed to construct a reductio of Frankfurtism based on the possibility of akrasia. But consider the case of Bigger Thomas (from Native Son). The climax of the novel is when he finally identifies with the anger that drove him to commit a double homicide (for which he about to be executed). Now up to that point he had been unwilling to embrace his disaffection. So, we could see him as falling prey to akrasia: saying to himself, 'I never really wanted to be violent, my anger simply got the best of me'. But, then, how do we understand his epiphany? The point isn't put quite this way in the novel, but it could be seen as an attempt to eschew thoughts of being weak-willed: no I wasn't weak and overcome by a force beyond my control- that was ME acting. I am not a victim of akrasia or anything else, I'm Bigger Thomas, angry man.' So we lose, then, our case of akrasia but gain THE EVER CHANGING SELF OBJECTION to Franfurtism. What do you think?

Thanks for this post, John. It was great seeing you again in Williamsburg.

What follows will seem somewhat indirect and tangential with respect to your post. I just want to note some broad themes, and how they might relate to your ideas here.

1. I agree that the concept of personal identity (and its boundaries) is important and related to moral responsibility. It took me a long time to realize this.

2. The Knobe and Nichols article in Kane's 2nd Handbook, as well as Neil Levy's book on Hard Luck are two important developments exploring the relationship between personal identity and freedom/responsibility.

3. Of the many potential threats to freedom and responsibility (Libet studies, akrasia, automaticity, cognitive biases, etc.) the most relevant and interesting (I think) is constitutive luck. Neil elaborates on this in his book.

4. I suspect that incompatibilists have a thinner sense of personal identity, such that their "core" identity can later become a passenger subject to an "outer" identity with which the person is endowed. For example, a single core person might become a passenger subject to whether the person becomes a woman/man, straight/gay, normal/psychopath, ambitious/meek, etc. What outer identity a person receives is outside of the core person's control, which results in constitutive luck that creates the potential threat to freedom/responsibility. Smilansky calls this the "unfolding of the given."

5. Libertarians attempt to overcome the threat of constitutive luck by appealing to the possibility of indeterministic choice (in many cases, indeterministic self-creation). Skeptics about free will bite the bullet.

6. Constitutive luck is really what motivates manipulation arguments like the Zygote, Four Case, and Basic Argument. This is easiest to see in the Zygote Argument.

7. For whatever reason, compatibilists are less concerned about constitutive luck. One possibility is that compatibilists have a thicker sense of self such that they *can't* be subject to constitutive luck - the concept of a thin core self being a passenger to an outer self simply does not make sense to the compatibilist. Compatibilists might feel this way if, for example, they are happy with how their outer self turned out.

I know I've strayed quite a ways from your original post. But this is my current tentative position on freedom/responsibility and its relationship to personal identity!

Robert,

This is an interesting case, and I think maybe there are cases of self-deception in which someone eventually comes to see that he was really acting in accordance with his "real or true" self all along, despite not having realized it. But then again I think there are genuine cases of weakness of the will too, and I think Frankfurt in particular has a big problem with this.

To explain. Let's work with the early account--the problem may or may not generalize to the later acccounts. On this view, one acts freely insofar as one identifies with the first-order desire on which one acts, i.e., one forms a second-order volition to act on this first-order desire. The problem is that it seems that one could act against such an identification, i.e., on a first-order desire not picked out or selected by the second-order volition, and yet act freely. This is a big and glaring problem for Frankfurt, and yet commentators have not spent as much time on it as on the regress problem, for example.

Worse yet, Frankfurt cannot say that an agent acts freely, even when she acts against her second-order volition, insofar as she COULD HAVE brought her action into conformity with her second-order volition. Perhaps other theorists can say this, but Frankfurt thinks that moral responsibility does not require alternative possibilities.

How can Frankfurt accommodate both genuine weakness of the will (interpreted as action not in accordance with one's second-order volition) and also the Frankfurt-cases?

Interestingly, in the 1971 JPhil article, Frankfurt focussed almost exclusively on "addicts" of various sorts--willing, unwilling, and wanton. But this problem concerns a non-addict. Maybe most commentators got diverted or distracted by the focus on addicts. But the problem for accommodating weakness of the will seems to be a big deal, at least from my perspective.

David, was your suggestion that expression of some aspect of one's cognitive and motivational economy might suffice for agency for which one is responsible? That would seem to make responsibility roughly coincident with intentional agency.

Thanks, Kip, and I'll think more about your thoughtful post.

Yes, it was very nice to see you at Neal Tognazzini's wonderful conference at your alma mater, William and Mary, and nice to see you continue to be part of the Free Will World!

Hi, Randy: No, more is needed than mere intentional agency. I have in mind a dependence relation of attributable actions/attitudes on cares and/or evaluative judgments (although I haven't mentioned these latter to this point).

Regarding the alleged relation between personal identity and moral responsibility, I've come to believe that there isn't one (at least with respect to attributability). I really try to avoid plugging my own work, but it seems directly relevant to the conversation and so my ordinary motivation to avoid it has been swamped by my compulsion to do so: "Moral Responsibility and the Self," in the Oxford Handbook of the Self makes the case for this view, as does (more thoroughly) "Responsibility Without Identity," in the latest Harvard Review of Philosophy. Sorry....

I agree with the gratitude expressed so far. John, thanks for raising such interesting questions. And thanks everyone for such stimulating and helpful discussion of these issues. I think Thomas Nadelhoffer also deserves a 'thank you' for the great idea of hosting these conversations on this blog.

@Chandra: Thanks for asking more about this. I realize that what I said before is not quite clear, and not only because of the typos. Let me try to make the ideas more precise, perhaps going beyond what could have been gleaned from my comment above. (I'm not sure if these remarks will address your worry about ambiguity. I hope that hey do, or, at least, that they won't make the issue worse.)

Try this argument on for size:

1. MR has to do with quality of will.
2. Quality of will has to do with willpower, because quality of will is a function of (something like) the motivations that issued in one's action given the motivations one though it would be worthwhile acting on and willpower is (something like) the faculty by which one aligns what one does with what one thinks it would be worthwhile to do.
3. Cares are not essentially related to what one thinks it would be worthwhile to do (as shown by the cases discussed above).
4. So: Cares are not essentially related to willpower or quality of will.
5. So: Cares are not essentially related to MR.

Now that I think more about this, the place it seems best to press the argument is at the move from 3 to 4. Perhaps cares are not essentially related to what one thinks it would be worthwhile to do, but they may yet be important for aligning one's evaluations and one's actions. (This may be what you meant by the "striving will," above.) Perhaps cares are a way of getting oneself to do what one thinks it would be worthwhile to do. If I am emotionally invested in X, then I am more likely to pay attention to X, to track its fortunes, etc. And this may be very helpful in getting me to do things that promote X. Insofar as I think X is worthwhile, then I am likely to think it would be worthwhile to promote X. So my caring attitude may play a role in getting me to do what I think it would be worthwhile to do.

I am still reluctant to think that this puts cares squarely back into play, because the above still concedes that cares are only contingently related to what one thinks it would be worthwhile to do. It may be that these same features of caring get in the way of the sought after alignment.

Some questions. What role do cares play in one's overall psychological economy, especially with respect to the alignment of motivations and values? Are there other attitudes that play a similar role as the one played by cares int he above story? Are these attitudes essentially connected to what one thinks it would be worthwhile to do? (E.g., perhaps evaluative judgments may themselves be motivating, or perhaps there is such a thing as a motivated desire that might arise from evaluative judgments.)

Is any of this helpful?

@Ben. Elegant argument. Thanks, this is definitely helpful and clears up what you had in mind quite a bit. In addition to questioning the move from 3 to 4, I would challenge 2. But the argument ranges over a host of far-flung considerations in moral psychology, so I won't even try to press my case here. Will be chewing over this...

@David. Responsibility Without Identity is behind some major paywalls that even my use of multiple university library accounts (shhh) can't get past. Any thoughts?

John,

Could you please say a bit on the way you see the more general importance of this debate? Is it mainly about the correct interpretation of compatibilism? Should it matter to the way non-compatibilists (or not-only-compatibilists like myself) view compatibilism? Put differently, is it an inter-compatibilist struggle, or a move in the compatibilists-others game?

‘It seems that one can act from weakness of the will and be morally responsible for the weak-willed behavior; but weak-willed behavior presumably does not express the real self (the motivational states with which one identifies) … This suggests that one acts freely insofar as one acts in accordance with one's real or true self. But this implies that genuine weakness of the will--in which one freely acts against what one identifies with--is impossible, in my view an implausible result.’ (JFM)

John,

Having re-read the passage in question, it appears that it contains wiggle room for the Frankfurtian.

To wit:

“I didn’t want to kill, Bigger shouted, but what I killed for I am. It must have been pretty deep in me to make me kill! I must have felt it awful hard to murder. … What I killed for must have been good! … I didn’t know I was alive in this world until I felt things hard enough to kill for ‘em ...." (What a great piece of psychology, what a splendid novel! No wonder Sartre so greatly admired Richard Wright.)

I take Bigger to be identifying with his disaffection, but not its effects. He seems to be saying, ‘My anger is me, I just wish it that hadn’t driven me to murder, that it had instead lead to something good’. If that assessment is correct, then we seem to have identification along with akrasia, assuming that the latter only requires disassociation from the effects of the former. With Bigger, in other words, there is the requisite identification with his alienation, yet weakness of the will, insofar as he does not wish to be a murderer. His “weak-willed behavior does (…) express his real self,” but akratically, in that he finds its actual effect regrettable. That is, it expresses his real self, just not in the way he would have hoped for. Granted, he is not “acting against what he identifies with,” but there does seem to be some weakness inherent in his will, given his inability to prevent it from culminating in something regrettable. (Then again, maybe he is acting against what he identifies with- anger sans violence?) The question then becomes is his identification really wholehearted?

Saul,

Thanks! Some of my questions are about specific compatibilist accounts, such as Frankfurt's. But I was hoping that some of the questions are more general, and would apply to libertarian as well as compatibilist accounts: What is the relationship between moral responsibility and the "real self"? How does "identification" relate to the "real self" (and moral responsibility)? These questions would seem to be interesting, apart from whether one is a libertarian or compatibilist, although perhaps the libertarian is less inclined to posit mechanisms such as "identification" and elements such as the "real self", and more inclined to give weight to "free choice".

Chandra: I haven't received a proof and don't have access either. (It's been a very mysterious process with them, I must say.) I can send anyone who might be interested my last manuscript copy, which didn't really change much for the final version, but that's the best I can do until I can wrangle a PDF out of them (if only someone will answer my e-mails...).

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