Online conversation with Prof. Pamela Hieronymi

The Polonsky Salon

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Thursday | 13/05/21 | 06:00 pm

Online conversation with Prof. Pamela Hieronymi

Prof. Pamela Hieronymi

A conversation on her new book: Freedom, Resentment, and the Metaphysics of Morals (Princeton University Press, May 2020)

Hosted by Dr. Daniel Telech

18:00 Israel Time, 11:00AM EST

The Polonsky Salon is a new digital public platform at the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute. Polonsky Fellows and alumni will host inspiring and internationally renowned academics to discuss new ideas and cutting-edge research from various disciplines in the humanities and social sciences.

It is difficult to overestimate the influence of P.F. Strawson’s “Freedom and Resentment” (1962) on the longstanding debate over free will and moral responsibility. A central question in this debate asks whether free will and moral responsibility are possible in a deterministic world. In opposition to efforts to justify commitment to the existence of free will and moral responsibility by appeal to considerations external to our responsibility practices (considerations like those of the truth or falsity of determinism), Strawson directs attention to the logic internal to these very practices. Whether we are justified in holding someone morally responsible, Strawson maintains, depends upon whether the agent is receptive to the demands for goodwill that we— as co-inhabitants of a moral community— make of one another, as expressed in our social-emotional responses. Today, the impact of Strawson’s essay is evident in the pride of place occupied in discussion of free will and responsibility by moral psychological topics (concerning e.g. quality of will, the moral emotions, and the capacities presupposed by each). According to Pamela Hieronymi, however, crucial elements of Strawson’s contribution to the debate have been overlooked, including the central argument of “Freedom and Resentment”, along with the metaethical view on which that argument depends. In this conversation we will discuss these issues and their ramifications for topics in agency, responsibility and metaethics, as articulated in Hieronymi’s recent book, Freedom, Resentment, and the Metaphysics of Morals.

The live broadcast will have subtitles in Hebrew.

Participants

Prof. Pamela Hieronymi, Philosophy Department at UCLA

Dr. Daniel Telech, Polonsky Academy Fellow at the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute

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