Philosophical Studies is definitely on a roll lately with cool papers relevant to the Garden: Patrick Todd's on manipulation arguments that I brought up in my last post, a newer one on Frankfurt-examples by Chris Franklin, and also one on the nature of holding responsible by Coleen Macnamara. (I can't resist pointing out that all three of these fine individuals are in the department at UC Riverside. The people affiliated with that department sure are smart!)
Although you should definitely read all of the above articles, here I just want to talk a bit about Coleen's paper, and then ask a question for all you readers out there.
In her paper, Macnamara gives "a topology of the terrain of holding others responsible" (p. 3), and it turns out to be quite complex and fascinating. She argues that accepting her map helps both to rectify certain confusions in the literature and to "clarify the scope and nature of our practices of holding responsible" (p. 3). A thumbnail sketch of her map, along with a question, appears below the fold:
As she points out, her map consists of three concentric circles, the innermost of which is itself made up of at least two parts.
Circle 1, the largest: Inside this circle fall all of the attitudes and activities that constitute Strawson's "participant stance", roughly, the stance we take toward other people with whom we are involved in interpersonal relationships. These attitudes include all those that are involved in what Macnamara labels "regarding another as a responsible agent" -- a stance that is contrasted with treating another as an object to be treated, manipulated, and so on.
Circle 2, inside circle 1: Inside this circle are all the attitudes and activities that are centered around deontic and evaluative concepts such as good/bad, right/wrong, and virtuous/vicious. This class is narrower than the class of attitudes that make up the participant stance in general -- for example, accepting promises is a participant-stance activity but seems to have nothing to do, at least initially, with the above deontic and evaluative concepts.
Circle 3, inside both circles 1 and 2: Inside this circle are all the attitudes and activities that are associated either with what Macnamara calls "moral appraisal" or "accountability" -- the two chunks that together make up circle 3.
Circle 3, chunk 1, Moral appraisal: Inside this chunk are such attitudes as unexpressed resentment and gratitude or even outward expressions of praise and blame IF those outward expressions are fundamentally aimed merely at expressing how we feel. (The contrast here is with those outward expressions that are fundamentally aimed, rather, at enforcing an ought or "holding someone to the ought that binds him".)
Circle 3, chunk 2: Accountability: Inside this chunk are those attitudes and activities that aim at enforcing an ought. They aim at "first-personal practical uptake of the ought-violation". Punishment falls into this category, as do certain sorts of overt interactions between agents (those that go beyond mere appraisal).
To help understand the picture, here are examples of attitudes and activities that fall within each of the above realms:
Accepting promises: this is in circle 1 but in neither 2 nor 3.
Trying to explain to someone why what they've done is wrong: this is in both circles 1 and 2, but not circle 3.
Merely feeling resentment, or even saying "You're a jerk!" where this speech-act is aimed merely at expressing my inner resentment: this is in circles 1, 2, and the first chunk of circle 3.
Saying "‘You are a very rude person. A decent person has the courtesy to make a simple phone call!" in response to someone who has stood you up for a date, where this is aimed at getting the offender to feel the force of the ought he has violated: this is in circles 1, 2, and the second chunk of circle 3.
Now, my question: if we were convinced of incompatibilism and the truth of determinism (or some other relevant threat), which parts of the map, if any, would we have to scratch?
(The easy but unhelpful answer: whichever parts of the map implicate desert.)