THE OBJECTIVE ATTITUDE
I aim to alleviate the pessimism with which some philosophers regard the ‘objective attitude’, thereby removing a particular obstacle which P.F. Strawson and others have placed in the way of more widespread scepticism about moral responsibility. First, I describe what I consider the objective attitude to be, and then address concerns about this raised by Susan Wolf. Next, I argue that aspects of certain attitudes commonly thought to be opposed to the objective attitude are in fact compatible with it. Finally, I examine the prospects of someone who wishes to adopt the objective attitude permanently. In response to philosophers who claim that this would be psychologically impossible, I argue that our commitment to attitudes that presuppose moral responsibility can soften and fade, often without our noticing it.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: July 1, 2007