Susan Wolf Reason View

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What is the "Reason View"? What, in your view, is the main problem for the Reason View? Do you think the view can overcome this problem? Why or why not? Susan Wolf’s reason view of moral responsibility leads to the asymmetry thesis, which is the idea that alternative possibility (AP) is only necessary for blameworthiness. In this essay, I would first explain what the reason view is and what the asymmetry thesis is. Then I would consider the examples Wolf has given as evidence of asymmetry thesis. I contend that the main issues in those examples might be the taboo against thinking the unthinkable instead of the presence of AP. In cases when the constraint of the taboo is loosened, stick to the asymmetry thesis may lead to a dilemma. Thus to…show more content…
According to Wolf, the right reasons would lead one to form the true beliefs and good values (Wolf, 1990:71), reason view can be redescribed as the ability to act in accordance with the true and the good. Reason view has the following implications. Regarding the praiseworthiness, the agent is praiseworthy if and only if: (1) he did the right deed; and (2) he did it for the right reason. It means that the agent is not praiseworthy when he did the right deed unintelligently or obsessively. It is the case of unintelligence when the agent has done the right deed without appreciating the goodness of the deed. It is the case of obsessiveness when the agent focuses unproportionately on the action itself instead of the reason. For example, he may be obsessive to act generously despite his financial straits. Regarding blameworthiness, the agent is blameworthy if and only if: (1) did the wrong deed; (2) he knows what he did is wrong; (3) he could have avoided doing the wrong deed. But not knowing due to negligence and failing to execute rightly due to weakness of will are not excuses for blameworthiness. Besides, since the judgement of whether the agent knows or whether he could have done otherwise is not certain and a matter of degree, so the responsibility is also uncertain and of proportionate…show more content…
They may have something to do with the taboo against thinking the unthinkable. We are living in a belief environment. Belief environment is a system of attitudes, presumptions, common expectations that are taken for granted in the similar way by nearly everybody (Dennett, 2008:43). Such as our belief in the justice of law, the consistency of policy, or simply the age when one can have a driving licence. Belief environment is important because like natural environment, much of our activities in only possible inside this environment whose stability we take for granted. For example, our trust of financial institutes is the conditions of the possible economic activities. To secure the stability of belief, some of the most crucial beliefs in the system almost become ‘sacred’. Beliefs are ‘sacred’ in the sense that it should be unthinkable, for a mere reflection of those sacred beliefs may shake our belief in them. Therefore taboos against thinking the unthinkable are placed (Tetlock, 2003). Human life is one of the sacred beliefs. We take the value of human life to be absolute, and should not compared with anything else. After saving the child, it is queer to cite ‘human life is valuable’ as a reason for action, and it is abominable to say that an effort of decision is needed between the saving the child and keeping one’s shoes dry. So we may feel that Joe is less

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